When a child is diagnosed with cancer, it hits the whole family hard, including grandparents.
They often feel helpless as they accompany their child and grandchild on the difficult journey through treatment, said Shawna, whose 5-year-old son Drew is being treated for blood cancer at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
But Shawna's mother-in-law, Sue, was determined to make a difference for Drew and other children from the very beginning.
So Sue created Hope in the Hamptons, a first-time fundraiser for St. Jude in New York, that sold out and raised more than $500,000 in July. “That event is the result of Sue deciding to do something to make a change and to give back,” Shawna said.
Sue and her husband Dave, a renowned farrier, hosted the event at their horse farm. Special guests included NBC TODAY host Matt Lauer, and Fox News national security expert, commentator and columnist, KT McFarland, who served as event emcee. Among the live auction items were golf outings with Lauer and Dave, who performed jumping jacks with Drew to draw attention to their auction item. Each of the two golf outings sold for $25,000.
Mazda also donated a 2016 Launch Edition Miata that sold for $50,000 through an online auction which took place simultaneous with the event. This was especially exciting for Drew, who collects car keys. Mazda presented him with a custom Mazda key fob, which he now carries with him. “I think he loved it. He loves his keys,” Drew’s grandmother said.
Drew is doing well in his treatment, Shawna said, adding that she and her husband Danny are grateful for the care he has received. “St. Jude said yes to us, and we decided we would always say yes to St. Jude for the rest of our lives. We hope this is the start of something beautiful.”