Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation - The Kids

The kids

Meet Merritt

What a difference four years – and lots of support for childhood cancer research – makes!

We first met Merritt and her parents, Aaron and Kayla, in 2019 when Merritt was just 2 years old. We were thrilled to host them as our special guests during our Corvette For A Cure celebration.

Diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma (the most prevalent soft tissue cancer in children) when she was only 15 months old, sweet Merritt endured multiple surgeries, several rounds of radiation, and many weeks of chemotherapy. It’s nearly impossible to imagine the fear and anguish her parents must have felt handing their infant daughter over for such terrifying treatments.

While many adult cancers can be diagnosed early, in 80% of kids, cancer has already spread to other areas of the body by the time it is diagnosed. Thankfully, Merritt was one of the lucky ones and her cancer was caught early.

This year, on August 17, Merritt walked into her first day of kindergarten – exactly three years to the day after she rang the bell to signal the end of her cancer treatment. And just last month, Merritt and her family – including little brother, Eli – celebrated her 6th birthday.

To say we are overjoyed at how happy and healthy Merritt is today, is an understatement. But we know that not all childhood cancer stories end this way. Which is why Merritt’s parents – along with her grandparents and army of family and friends – haven’t stopped advocating for more funding for childhood cancer research. They know all too well that even for kids who survive, the battle is not over. Because of the treatments they had as children, more than 95% of survivors will have a chronic health problem and 80% will face severe or life-threatening conditions.

It’s why we host programs like Corvette For A Cure – to raise as much money as we can for lifesaving childhood cancer research. To ensure that more kids’ stories turn out the way Merritt’s has. Your donation makes a difference. Together, let’s see what kind of difference we can make for kids in the years ahead!

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