CHICAGO (CBS) — A local couple whose daughter lost her battle with cancer is giving back and at the same time making sure other families stay strong.
Scott and Pammy Kramer’s daughter, Maddie, was diagnosed with cancer when she was only 2 1/2 years old. Maddie lost her battle less than a year later, but her parents say they’ve learned life doesn’t stop with cancer. Throughout her battle, Maddie never stopped playing, singing or dancing.
Now Scott and Pammy are giving back at Lurie Children’s Hospital with the mission of making the inpatient hospital experience as joyful as possible for young cancer patients.
Maddie loved dancing, so they hosted a “Dancing & Donuts” playdate at Lurie Hospital on Wednesday.
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A beautiful day of donuts and smiles with the incredible families at @luriechildrens. We brought the donuts…they supplied the smiles! Special thanks to @doritedonuts for making today possible. And to the amazing kiddos and parents who inspire us every day. Check out @nbcchicago at 5pm CST tonight for the full story. #dancingwhilecancering #battlewithjoy
For Emela Bego, whose daughter Daanya is fighting acute Leukemia, the event made her daughter’s day.
“It’s very hard for the kids to always have a smile on their face when they’re going through really hard treatments,” she said. “Just to see them smile like this is seriously the most precious thing ever, and these kids are true heroes.”
Emela and Pammy shared a big, long hug.
“In that hug, you could feel the connection of another mom going through what I went through, which is caring for your daughter and spending every waking second of your life fighting for her life,” Pammy said.
Daanya hopes to be done with her treatment in 2021. Until then, she has 20 different wigs to choose from. Her mom also wears one to support her daughter.
“This has taught me so much as a parent to how grateful we should be for our children,” Emela said.
“We walked the walk that these families are walking. So to be back here today is incredibly meaningful. To see the kids smiling and making the arts and crafts projects, it’s a reminder for us that what we’re doing is so impactful,” Pammy said.
“The least we can do is just continue to give them the tools to carry their parents,” Scott said.
The Kramers also provide smile packs for kids on the day they are admitted to the hospital to help transform their room with goodies. If you’d like to donate, go to dancingwhilecancering.org