Extra! Extra! Since 1988, Valley Children’s has partnered with ABC30 and The Fresno Bee to orchestrate Kids Day. As one of the largest fundraising events in the Central Valley, volunteers from more than 20 communities will come together in a virtual setting once again to carry on this treasured event – a tradition that has now extended to half of Valley Children’s 70 years of service to the Central Valley.
Although 8,000 volunteers will not be hitting the streets with orange vests and newspapers in hand, the community still has many great ways to help raise much-needed funds to support the patients and families treated at Valley Children’s Hospital. Protecting the health and well-being of the community is our first priority.
This long-standing Central Valley tradition has helped support our mission for more than three decades because of the dedication of community supporters. Donations through Kids Day will help children like our Kids Day Ambassador Olivia, pictured above, receive specialized care close to home and get back to doing what she does best: being a kid. Olivia was just like any other 4-year-old although, from time to time, she would get a stomachache. When Olivia’s mom, Virginia, noticed her daughter staying on the sidelines rather than playing as she normally did, the family met with a pediatrician who referred her to Valley Children’s for further testing. After x-rays and labs, images would reveal an unexpected diagnosis. With the expert team at Valley Children’s, Olivia would undergo lifesaving treatments and a procedure to address her stage four Wilms tumor diagnosis.
After just six weeks of treatment, Olivia responded so well that most of her tumors were gone and her larger tumor had reduced in size by 50%! This allowed doctors to operate and remove her cancerous kidney. The road ahead consisted of ongoing chemo on a rotation with two weeks home while receiving care in the clinic, followed by one week in the hospital. This went on for about nine months until the doctors at Valley Children’s shared with Olivia that she was cancer-free!
“The goal the entire time was to remove her right kidney, but I understood all along that it would be a risky procedure,” added Virginia. “Her tumor was intertwined with so many veins, but her surgeon was able to scrape out every bit of cancer – and this saved her life. Because of the experts at Valley Children’s, Olivia could celebrate her next birthday. I am so grateful!”
On October 13, Olivia turned 5 years old and got to ring the “No Mo’ Chemo” bell at the hospital. That same day, Olivia introduced several relatives to her care team at Valley Children’s who are like Olivia’s extended family – everyone celebrating one very brave little girl who back living life to the fullest.
We encourage you to support the 35th annual Kids Day through our various platforms, including our online giving page and text-to-give options. Your heartfelt support helps local ill and injured children receive the best care possible in their time of need.
Make a donation of any amount now through March 8, 2022 by visiting www.valleychildrens.org/kidsday or for a quick, automatic $10 donation, text GEORGE to 20222.
For more information on ways to give this year for Kids Day, please contact Valley Children’s Healthcare Foundation at 559-353-7100.