Pediatric brain cancer patient who recently passed still helping Kids Join The Fight
Oak Mountain Middle School presents check to organization that brings awareness to childhood cancers
OAK MOUNTAIN, Ala. (WBRC) - Members of the Oak Mountain Middle School basketball team are doing their part for Kids Join The Fight - a nonprofit organization founded by 9-year-old Walker Beery that brings awareness and funding for childhood cancer.
According to the website, just 4% of cancer research goes toward pediatric cancer.
Sadly, Walker died in September after battling a rare form of pediatric brain cancer.
“For two years, he treated with radiation - chemo in his home of New Orleans and out in Houston, Texas. And then for the last few months of his life, he was here in Birmingham treating at Children’s Hospital, radiation and chemo, but Walker, he didn’t let that get him down. He was happy. Always smiling,” said Stewart Civils.
Civils is his uncle and a coach at Oak Mountain Middle School and would often inspire his players by telling them Walker’s story.
“Whenever we are having a hard practice or having a hard time, Walker is someone I would bring up to remind them that we have adversity and trouble, but Walker my nephew has had to battle cancer,” said Coach Civils.
Once again, Walker was the inspiration during Oak Mountain Middle School’s basketball game against Clay-Chalkville.
Principal Dr. Larry Haynes helped to present a check to Kids Join The Fight for more than $1,600 raised at that game.
“It’s just a very touching story to see how courageous this young man was in his short life. The basketball team wanted to get involved and do something to raise money for Walker’s foundation,” said Dr. Haynes.
Haynes remarked how students gave money to the cause instead of buying extra pizza and bought T-shirts and bracelets.
It’s just the kind of thing Walker envisioned.
“His tag line was always you can do anything no matter how big or how small,” said Civils. “There is a way on the KidsJoinTheFight.org website if kids want to get involved and start a team and something as small as a lemonade stand - that is exactly what Walker’s vision was for kids to be involved.”
To get a hint of Walker’s heart on the subject, you can watch a video of his explanation behind the foundation on the website.
Civils says the family is keeping Walker’s legacy alive through the Kids Join the Fight Foundation. The goal is to raise a million dollars in the first year and he says they are getting close.
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