DEERFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio – This weekend, hundreds of people in the Tri-State took advantage of sunny weather to raise money for cancer research to save the lives of children on the CancerFree KIDS Butterfly Walk.
For the Kambria Koebee family, it is an opportunity to be together and have a little fun. But it’s also about keeping the memory of Kambria alive.
Her grandmother, Anita, said Kambria was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor in children in 2016 after pain in her elbow.
“They tried to get as much as possible, and she got better and then she went down hill. We just kept thinking she was going to make it,” said Anita Koebee. “She had DIPG and she lived almost two years. And she died on Thanksgiving.”
Kambria had just turned 9.
Jill Brinck, executive director of CancerFree KIDS, said the core focus of her organization is “giving ideas a chance” when it comes to pediatric cancer research.
Saturday’s event was the 15th CancerFree KIDS Butterfly Walk and 5K at Cottell Park in Deerfield Township, with the goal of raising $ 100,000 for research. Due to the pandemic, this year was a hybrid event where people could come to the park to participate or to participate from home.
“We have an ongoing storyboard around the pond where you can read about different children and their travels,” said Brinck.
Some survived, but some didn’t. They are the butterflies and the goal is to spotlight every story and show the funding gap when it comes to childhood cancer.
“Our dollars really fund things that wouldn’t otherwise be funded,” Brinck said.
That’s why Kambria’s family showed up for the case.
“I hope one day they will find a cure,” said Anita Koebee.