This is the underlying principle for Kasie Helpz Kidz, a non-profit organization with a mission to help families of children fighting cancer.
On Saturday, the organization's founder , Kasie Lynne, stopped in Albuquerque for the Love Helpz Kidz Tour – an excursion around the United States held to fundraise for local children fighting cancer.
The idea for the tour came two years ago, when Lynne started a financial assistance program to help struggling families pay for treatment. Soon after she began to receive applications from families all around the country, despite first focusing on families in Florida.
“I was like, ‘Man, there’s just so many other families we could help.’ So we started helping them, but it got really hard to financially help them only having fundraisers in Florida,” Lynne said. “So I came up with this idea of a tour. How it works is we have fundraisers in these different cities, and that money is for those families in those cities and for that state. So that way we are able to help more families.”
The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science hosted the inaugural Love Helpz Kidz Fashion and Superhero Show.
The superhero/princess themed fashion show gave kids fighting cancer the opportunity to walk down a runway dressed as their favorite characters. About 13 children took part, with one girl participating in honor of a cancer patient.
There were also princess and superhero impersonators present to walk and take pictures with, including Belle, Ariel, Aurora, Superman and Batman.
The event also included a silent auction and a vendor with shirts that read, “Keep Calm I’m a Superhero.”
David Goldman, the coordinator for the event, said all the proceeds from the show will go to the families of Albuquerque children struggling to pay for cancer treatment. Each family will get up to $500 per year for assistance.
“We just want to thank the community from the bottom of our hearts. We are blown away by the support and the love that we’ve seen. We plan on doing it again, and next year we hope to see it grow even more,” Goldman said.
Goldman said the funds raised will be calculated over the weekend and then donated to the families in need.
Lynne has struggled with cancer herself since she was 13 years old. She said she remembers being in isolation for treatments and how it felt to not see anyone for a week. During a speech at the show, she told a story about her dad sneaking in to see her and give her a teddy bear. She said having that bear there for her later inspired her desire to help show other oncology kids that they are not alone.
“It’s just to have fun with the kids. It gives them a night to forget about what they’re going through and just be a kid,” she said.