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Family needs holiday help


To the editor:

To the community:

I am sending you this message because our community typically looks out for our own. In our community is a little boy named Blaze Keim, who has been battling leukemia since he was three years old. Blaze is 10 years old now and this is his fifth time his leukemia has returned. His grandmother-mother (Lisa Newman) raises three of her daughter’s children. Lisa has a 15-year-old son named Gaige, who is active in sports at Kenton High School. And lastly, Lisa is fostering a 2-year-old, Lendayn, that is a half-brother to Harmoni, Blaze and Kaydin.

Harmoni was a 100 percent match for his bone marrow transplant, which was done four years ago. Blaze has had his cancer return time and time again and the plan of action this time is strong chemo and most likely seven weeks in Philadelphia where he was treated 19 months ago. So, as you see, this family and this little boy need our help…each and every one of us.

The holiday season is approaching quickly and the first wish I have for this family is to provide a bountiful Thanksgiving dinner as, chances are, Christmas will be spent apart with Blaze and Lisa in Philadelphia and the children being cared for by different family and friends. Lisa is wishing to celebrate Christmas with the kids on Dec. 16 before medical things begin happening to Blaze. Since we are talking about five children and Lisa, a fairly substantial sum of money will be needed to take care of a memorable Christmas for them where the community they live in touched their lives with kindness and Christmas spirit. No better feeling than to give.

Hanna Barlow is selling “Brave like Blaze” t-shirts made by a community guy, Chris Rogers. Contact Hanna at 567-674-8919 if you would like to purchase a t-shirt. Imagine a whole community having a Brave Like Blaze day wearing these t-shirts!!! The community, The Kenton Times and WKTN would have a “feel good” story with this act of kindness for a sick little boy. Let’s make this happen! Something like this would really boost Blaze’s spirit. He has a devilish battle ahead of him.

Some generous donors have helped with one of Blaze’s wishes…being able to go to Great Wolf Lodge in Mason. The family will be taking off for Mason on Nov. 11 for an overnight trip and an all expenses paid mini-vacation for the whole family. Thanks to the kind donors who enabled that wish to be fulfilled.

Other than the holiday gifts and delicious food being taken care of, money will be needed for gas to Philadelphia, gas back and forth to Columbus twice a week for Blaze’s treatments, and money for the children when Lisa and Blaze are gone for seven weeks. I cannot even fathom what this family has been through and what still remains in the future. This circumstance surely has affected Blaze’s brothers and sister and they deserve a magical holiday. Their worries can be minimized when excitement and joy overcome them, for once.

So, back to the purpose of this letter. This family needs your help. Let’s do what we can do to make them believe in the goodness of the human spirit. None of us know what the future holds, but…things appear brighter with “a little help from our friends!” Is Kenton a good place to call home? I believe and hopefully you do too.

Donations can be made out to Alice Roof, and in the memo, please write Blaze Keim. Donations can be sent to 218 W. Columbus St., Kenton, OH 43326. No gift is too small. Every donation helps our cause.

Alice Roof and Hanna Barlow

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