About us & WHY we do what we do....
When we lost our 17 year-old daughter Amanda to cancer, our world stopped turning. The experience was devastating and it changed our lives forever. There is a hole in our hearts that will never be filled. We will never forget Amanda, her beautiful smile or the love and compassion she showed for all people. Her life may have been short but her spirit lives on and inspires us to help others. It hurts terribly to hear of one more child that must face this dreadful disease, one more family whose life will be turned upside down. While more and more children are surviving cancer, there are still many who will die because doctors simply do not know enough about some of these life-threatening illnesses.
After Amanda passed away, we wanted and needed to do something to keep her memory alive. It just didn't seem fair that someone that once was so full of life was lost to the world. We wanted the world to know that we were hurting, that our daughter died, and CANCER took her life. We wanted the world to know that we would never forget her and that we would never forget all the other children that had died before her. Most importantly, We wanted to show we would never forget all the children that are still fighting for their lives against childhood cancer. We had to do something to try to make their life a little better. We have no magic wand to cure them but we could make a difference in their lives but how were we going to do that?
We have very vivid memories forever etched in our mind of the beautiful children that we saw on a daily basis at the clinic and hospital and how badly we wanted to reach out to them and help them. At the time, obviously we had my hands full taking care of Amanda. Now with nothing but time on our hands, we can help those children. To try and make a difference, to keep Amanda's SMILE alive on their faces. We want to focus on TODAY and the struggles the children face TODAY and try to make TODAY better for them. That is why our focus is on SMILES; we want to try to do something TODAY, to bring a smile to a child's face. To be their little ray of sunshine as Amanda was for us. Yes they are struggling and are in pain but maybe we can do something to take their mind off of having cancer, if even for a moment, to give them something that they will enjoy playing with or listening to or watching. Yes, that was the answer, to do the small things to bring a smile to a child's face. TODAY - while they are in the midst of their battle, during their toughest times!
What is more important than a child? This being said, we don't understand why there is so little funding that goes toward childhood cancer. Did you know that less than 4% of government funding for cancer research goes toward childhood cancer? We simply can't comprehend why this is so. Also many of the larger cancer organizations do VERY LITTLE for children. So we ask if you would like to donate for childhood cancer research, to please give to foundations such as CURE Childhood Cancer or The Rally Foundation. If you would like to make a difference TODAY in a child's life, we would certainly appreciate you considering donating to our foundation.
Thanks for your support.
Steve & Barbara Riley, Brittany Riley Duncan