Helena recognizes September as Childhood Cancer Awareness month
Published 1:02 pm Friday, September 18, 2015
By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer
HELENA–A proclamation was approved by the Helena City Council on Monday, Sept. 14, recognizing September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and to support the Open Hands, Overflowing Hearts organization.
The Open Hands, Overflowing Hearts is an organization that was started in September 2014 by 20-year-old Kayla Perry and her family to help raise funds for pediatric research.
Perry was diagnosed with a very rare pediatric cancer and according to Rhonda Smith, nurse practitioner at Children’s Hospital, the organization has raised more than $600,000 in a little more than a year.
“September is national Childhood Cancer Awareness month and we’re doing it for Open Hands, Overflowing Hearts,” said Smith. “Only four percent of federal funding goes to childhood cancer research so most funding comes from private organizations. Open Hands, Overflowing Hearts will donate 100 percent of the proceeds back to pediatric research.”
Helena Mayor Mark Hall and the council have approved many proclamations in the past, but Hall noted that this is something that is close to everyone’s heart.
“This is just a close thing to all our hearts and something we definitely feel like we need to participate in,” said Hall.
Smith and other members supporting the cause brought two large banners to the council meeting for everyone to sign and write encouraging messages so the kids can see the messages everyday.
“The two banners will go up in the unit where our kids get their in-patient chemo and one is going to go in our clinic so all the kids will see these messages every time they come in,” said Smith.
The week of Sept. 21 a booth will be set up at the Helena youth football games where there will be raffle tickets, necklaces for sale and donations will be collected.
For more information on Open Hands Overflowing Hearts and Perry’s story, visit Openhandsoverflowinghearts.org.