Baby Shawn leads walk for Pediatric Cancer

"Golden Steps 4 Cancer Awareness" Walk

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. -- September marks Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, and for the families who have to deal with the unimaginable, every push helps.

Friday night, a special "Go For The Gold" walk in Niagara Falls raised both awareness and money for the childhood disease.

Baby Shawn led the way.  A bubbly 6-year-old going on 7, you'd never know by looking at him that he has a brain tumor.  He was first diagnosed with cancer two years

"They say only 1 percent make it two years, so these milestones mean everything," said Nicole Bathy, Shawn's mother.

You may remember Baby Shawn as the boy who got to meet NBA star Stephen Curry.

Local coach Mike Esposito was so inspired by Shawn, he set up that opportunity and continues to help lead the fight in Niagara Falls.

"After we went to Miami and met the Warriors, I promised I'd help Nicole draw awareness to pediatric cancer. It's just such a great cause," Esposito said.

Baby Shawn has a huge support network, but of course he's not the only WNY child with pediatric cancer.

Michele Lloyd knows that all too well.

"She was the bravest, toughest kid I've ever met, and I have three others and they feel the same," said Lloyd, whose daughter Ginny passed away in April.

Lloyd now walks for Baby Shawn, who showed up to support her when Ginny died.

"He gave me a big hug at my daughter's funeral.  At the church services," she said.

Camp Good Days and Special Times helps families like Shawn's. Unique in its purpose, the camp is specifically for children with cancer or those who have lost someone to cancer, and this team of selfless, loving people are all about the good fight, too.

"We are a place where courage has no boundaries," regional director Lisa Booz said.

Booz said only four percent of National Institute of Health funding goes toward pediatric cancer, so for those personally affected at Camp Good Days, childhood cancer awareness month is all about "making sure that our nation knows our kids deserve more."


"We have families that...that have gone through hell and back. They have worked through all the treatments, years, waiting for their child to be cured or to go into remission, only to be told there's nothing left for them to do," Booz said.

Camp Good Days is more than just a summer camp, too. It provides monthly activities year-round so kids with cancer can meet and play with other kids going through the same things.

"I want everybody to know about pediatric cancer. How much it's underfunded," said Baby Shawn's mom. "They would do the same thing if it was their child."

 

© 2017 WGRZ-TV


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