An Alpine family is keeping their daughter’s memory alive after losing her to cancer.
Luke and Bree Rowand will host the fourth annual Prayers for Kylie Golf Tournament next Friday, a benefit that honors their daughter, Kylie, who died in 2015 from neuroblastoma.
Bree, who founded the Kylie Rowand Foundation, said Kylie was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer when she was just 19 months old.
“She did chemo, radiation, over 20 surgeries and was in a coma for five weeks,” Bree said. “She was in the ICU for five months before she was (flown) to Memorial Sloan (Kettering Cancer Center).”
Kylie took her last breaths at the New York hospital where she died on Feb. 7, 2015. She was 2.5 years old. Her journey was documented on social media where she gained more than 275,000 followers from 47 countries.
“She was fun, spunky, energetic, very independent and just full of life,” Bree said. “She became the face of pediatric cancer. She brought all these lives together.”
Kylie’s impact on her family and the public encouraged Bree to form the foundation in memory of her daughter, she said.
“We had to do something to raise awareness because there wasn’t any,” Bree said. “It’s a disease that doesn’t get funding and doesn’t get any attention.”
About 10,380 children in the U.S. under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer. Cancer is also the second leading cause of deaths among children between the ages of 1 and 14, according to the American Cancer Society.
Bree said she hopes the golf tournament at Steel Canyon Golf Club will raise the $50,000 needed to fund research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where Kylie’s cells, blood and marrow were harvested.
“Kylie’s cancer was compounded by a condition called NMYC amplified where the body fights the chemotherapy,” Bree said. “Unfortunately, many children are victims of this disorder, which lowers their survival rate significantly. That’s why it’s crucial to find a cure.”
Single player cost is $150 and includes golf, cart, lunch, goodie bag, dinner and two drink tickets. In addition, group sign-ups for two, three and four players is available.
For more information or to register for the event, go to http://birdeasepro.com/prayersforkylie.
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