MEDINA, OH (WOIO) - A little girl who passed away a year ago is inspiring help for children going through their own battles with childhood cancer. This week's Romona's Kids family is from Medina.
"Kiera was diagnosed when she was only 3-months-old so she was just a little baby at the time," said Jennifer Kilbane, Keira's
mother. "We spent most of that first year in the hospital so most of her milestones were there at the hospital and they became like our family there."
Keira Kilbane was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at three months, and went through two years of chemotherapy.
But her family says she had infectious energy. "She was always smiling and laughing, all the nurses and doctors loved her," said Brian Kilbane, Keira's father. "They called her the little baby doll because she had a little pixie haircut, and she had that ability to just make people gravitate to her and just instantly fall in love with her."
After chemotherapy, Keira was able to be off treatment for eight months. But there was a relapse in January of 2014.
"When she relapsed it was a much tougher battle because it was in her central nervous system," said Jennifer Kilbane.
A bone marrow transplant that April went well but then there was another relapse in July 2014.
"There were no further treatment options left because she had so much chemotherapy that there was nothing else we could do so we took her home and enjoyed our time," said Jennifer Kilbane.
Keira's parents started a foundation www.keirakilbanefoundation.org and a research fund with Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in her memory.
"I always thought Keira was going to cure childhood cancer herself because she was just always so medically involved but I said I guess there was a different plan and then I think she's then going to inspire somebody to hopefully get that cure someday," said Jennifer Kilbane.
They hold special events for kids battling cancer at the hospital like a Thanksgiving dinner and a New Year's Eve party.
Saturday August 8 at 8:30 a.m., there will be a 5K run and walk in Brecksville at the Station Road Bridge Towpath Trailhead.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION or call 330-242-6675.
They are also planning the Keira Kilbane Benefit and Silent Auction at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 26th at St. Ignatius of Antioch Church in Cleveland.