Starting with a coach’s kindness, Curing Kids’ Cancer gains a burgeoning presence on Facebook and Twitter
Nine-year-old Killian Owen’s greatest passion was sports.
But his days of swinging the bat, swimming laps and shooting hoops were cut short.
In 2004, the boy with sparking green eyes and curly blonde hair died of lymphocytic leukemia, a common type of childhood cancer.
“A year after we lost Killian, we felt like we needed to stay engaged and do something,” says his father, Clay Owen.
Inspired by Killian’s fight, his brother’s basketball coach told the team not to buy him an end-of-the season gift. Instead, he wanted the players to donate the money to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, where Killian had been treated.
This kind gesture sparked an idea. Owen thought about all the kids who bought their coaches and teachers knickknacks and restaurant gift certificates—and wondered whether the money could be better spent elsewhere: helping to find a cure for childhood cancer.