I can’t imagine many things more horrific than finding out your baby has cancer. When I think about families struggling to care for their little one, balance other children, figure out work and how to pay for #allthethings, my heart hurts. When I first learned about Addi’s Faith Foundation, I was amazed right from the start. I think you’ll be impressed, too.

One morning when I was dropping off our first son at our fabulous daycare lady’s house, she mentioned her own granddaughter had died from a cancerous brain tumor. I stopped myself from rushing out the door to work and really listened to what she shared. Denise told her granddaughter’s story. Two brain tumors were identified in June 2007 and surgery was quickly scheduled. If you read her care page on the website you’ll see, “The prognosis is not good and the odds seem to be stacked against us. That being said, there still is hope,” and a few short months later, “Our oncologist has given Addi a zero percent chance of making it and offers very little hope with future chemo treatments.” 

Reading these words, my heart just stops. I. Can’t. Even. Breathe.

Addi died after a courageous and heart-breaking battle in December of the same year.

So, what did her family do? Her mom, her dad, her siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins — what did they do? Well, of course, they grieved (and still grieve) the loss of this bright light that blessed our world. And then, they went about making sure her life, including the tumor itself (even how being used for research), makes a difference. They started Addi’s Faith Foundation, an organization that funds childhood cancer research and helps support families both financial and emotionally in the fight against cancer.

Through Addi’s Faith Foundation, I’ve learned there isn’t much childhood cancer research being done. Instead medical professionals are forced to use adult therapies on these tiny beings and hope they might respond similarly. I think about finding out my child has cancer and then finding out there isn’t much that can be done because, we just don’t know enough, and my heart is moved to donate. 

Addi’s Faith Foundation is run by Amber Bender, a Quad City native. Her sisters work in the QC schools and live in Rock Island. Her mom is our amazing daycare woman. She and her family  now live in Texas and work hand-in-hand with the MD Anderson Medical Center to fund research (over $1,000,000 so far) and provide financial and emotional support for families fighting the unthinkable. They also provide scholarships for survivors, a grief group for families, and on-going support for Ronald McDonald House.

One of the reasons I appreciate giving to Addi’s Faith Foundation is that no donation is too small. They explain that even $10/month (combined with other $10/month donations) can allow them to help one more family. From big to small: all the donations make a difference. Learn more about giving to the Sunshine Circle. Amber explains that each month when the board of directors has to choose which families to help it’s hard to even consider saying no to a family in need. They are always hoping for another group of donors that make it possible to say yes to each applicant family. Often it’s small donations combined together that make this possible.

I’m excited to announce the organization is bringing one of their best fundraisers to us! The Inaugural Walk by Faith Quad Cities is our opportunity to support this fantastic cause right here in the Quad Cities. Not only can you support this great organization, it’s family friendly and gets you admission to the zoo! The funds raised in the Quad Cities will stay right here and help local families. I can’t of a better reason to support this amazing walk.

Please join me: 
Addi’s Walk by Faith
Sunday, September 30, 2018
8:30 a.m. — noon

Cost: $15 kids/$30 adults
QC Moms Blog followers can receive a discount by entering: QCMOMSFIGHTCANCER when you register by September 29.

“This family-friendly fundraising walk begins with a short 1 mile loop winding throughout the zoo, followed by a celebration, complete with yummy snacks, awesome kid’s zone, games, music and more.  The registration fee includes: event t-shirt, swag bag, and admission to the zoo for the day.” (


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A committed member of the boymom club, Meghan has five active, adventurous, crazy sweet men in her life she often calls her “favorite boys”. Charles is 10, Oliver is 8, Bennett is 5, Simon is 3 and her husband, Luke is a fun, patient, loving father to all these crazy characters. For 18 years, Meghan worked in higher education at a private college in recruitment, marketing, and social media. Now, working from home, she balances four boys, a great husband, freelance writing and social media consulting. Meghan grew up in St. Charles, IL (a western Chicago suburb), attended Augustana College, and is a true Quad City transplant - she loves living in this area! She likes to read, sing, plan adventures, travel and just be with her favorite boys.


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