Nashville, TN (PRWEB) March 14, 2011
Seventeen year-old Kylie Kuhns was named the winner of the RACHAEL RAY show and USA TODAY Kindness Challenge earlier today, after raising more than $25,000 to provide Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program™ to children’s hospitals across the country.
At the beginning of the year, USA TODAY and the RACHAEL RAY show launched the Kindness Challenge, where five young volunteers from youth action organization DoSomething.org were given six weeks to reach their philanthropic goals of making a difference for their chosen cause. Each week, the five participants worked toward a specific goal, documenting their progress with flip cams and weekly blog posts at kindnesschallenge.usatoday.com.
As the six week Kindness Challenge came to a close, the public was invited to vote on which individual inspired them most. Kylie was announced as the winner today in USA TODAY and on the RACHAEL RAY show.
After Kylie’s sister passed away from cancer in 2005, Kylie was inspired to help other children battling the disease. She started Kelsey’s Dream, which raises money to provide the Chemo Duck program to children’s hospitals across the country. Kylie's Kindness Challenge goal was to raise $17,250 to supply the Chemo Duck program to the pediatrics oncology units in Florida. Kylie exceeded her goal, raising more than $25,000.
Through the assistance of people like Kylie, Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program™ aims to connect with as many children living with cancer as possible. To date, more than 5,000 children with cancer have been provided a source of comfort through the Chemo Duck program. However, there are currently more than 1,000 children on the waiting list to receive a Chemo Duck and the companion material to help them through their difficult journey.
"We could not be more proud of Kylie for her tremendous fundraising efforts," says Chemo Duck creator Lu Sipos, founder of the Nashville-based non-profit organization Gabe's My Heart, Inc. "She is a fantastic example of the giving sprit that exists in the youth of today. It is heartwarming to see her desire to continue her sister’s legacy and we are honored that she has chosen Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program™ as the way to keep Kelsey’s spirit of giving alive."
ABOUT GABE'S CHEMO DUCK PROGRAM™
Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program™ is a program of the Nashville-based nonprofit organization, Gabe’s My Heart, which was established in 2004 to provide education and comfort to children living with cancer through medical play using therapeutic tools. The goal of the program is to enable hospital staff and parents to prepare children for chemotherapy treatment and eliminate the fear of the unknown. Chemo Duck is a stuffed yellow duck dressed in blue hospital scrubs with a bandana around its head, a chemotherapy port on its chest and an immobilizer on his arm. In a gentle, age-appropriate manner, children learn what to expect during cancer treatment and have a friend to share the experience. In turn, children can use Chemo Duck to help friends, siblings and classmates to understand and empathize with their experience. To learn more, visit http://www.ChemoDuck.org.
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