An Open Letter to Lexus: Thank You for Providing the Fuel to Fight Childhood Cancer

by Kris Doyle
June 4, 2014

Kris, a St. Baldrick’s volunteer and shavee℠, was one of 10 winners of the Lexus Bold IS video contest. She donated her prize to St. Baldrick’s to help fund childhood cancer research. You can help, too.

Doyle family in front of St. Baldrick's themed Lexus Bold IS

Kris, second from right, and her family in front of the St. Baldrick’s-themed Lexus Bold IS.

To our friends at Lexus,

As the mother of a childhood cancer survivor and a participant in your Lexus Bold IS video contest, I would like to take this moment to thank you for joining with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and offering this unique opportunity for its shavees to take a bold new step in their efforts to promote awareness for childhood cancer and to secure funding for a cure.

However, before I do so, I would like to share with you some of the reasons why your collaboration with St. Baldrick’s has helped foster hope in the hearts of those touched by childhood cancer.

As a co-organizer of an annual St. Baldrick’s head-shaving event, I knew ahead of time we would be having one of your special St. Baldrick’s-themed Lexus Bold IS cars on display at our event. Even so, nothing prepared me for the moment I arrived at our venue and saw it parked right next to where I would soon be joining my husband and survivor son in shaving our heads.

St. Baldrick's-themed Lexus Bold IS car

Photo by Danny Wu, St. Baldrick’s volunteer event organizer and shavee.

Seeing the St. Baldrick’s name, logo, and the words “Conquer Childhood Cancers” so prominently displayed on your new car made me believe, for perhaps the very first time, that maybe we stood a real chance in providing a cancer-free future for all kids.

It was an amazing moment and it brought tears to my eyes.

After years of hard work and dedication on behalf of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and its volunteers, there stood before me tangible proof that people outside the childhood cancer community were finally willing to openly acknowledge the monster that has been stalking our children.

…Nearly 12 years ago, when our 4-year-old son was diagnosed…childhood cancer was a disease no one wanted to talk about.

You see, nearly 12 years ago, when our 4-year-old son was diagnosed with a rare lung cancer called pleuropulmonary blastoma, or PPB, childhood cancer was a disease no one wanted to talk about. In fact, the words “child” and “cancer” were typically only strung together by doctors when discussing diagnosis and treatment options with shell-shocked parents.

There was no great understanding of its prevalence in society, or concern for its young victims. And there was absolutely no push to unlock the secrets of what has since then grown to be the number one disease-related killer of children in our country.

Back then, as parents, the only thing we could cling to was hope that our children would make it through the fight.

Like other moms and dads on the cancer floor, we were lost and alone, fighting to save our child and preserve our family, holding tight to the hope that our battle wouldn’t end in vain.

But like so many thrust into the nightmare that is childhood cancer, all we needed to do was look around to see evidence that hope was not unlike the fragile whisper of an innocent child — something easily silenced by brutal forces so far beyond the realm of any one person’s control.

…More people are now stepping forward to join us in our quest, and I have faith that very soon we will be racing toward a cure.

We needed help.

We needed support.

We needed you.

And here you are, providing people like me with bold, new opportunities to overwhelm the silence. With the generous support of allies like you, we have been gifted with new platforms and unique opportunities to advocate for our children.

As a result, more people are now stepping forward to join us in our quest, and I have faith that very soon we will be racing toward a cure.

So, as the mother of a child touched by childhood cancer, a shavee for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, and a Lexus Bold IS contest winner gifted with an additional $2,500 to put back into the fight, I would like to thank you — from the bottom of my heart — for providing us with much-needed fuel for our journey.

Kris Doyle
Mom to Honored Kid William

You can help fuel the fight against childhood cancer. Donate to childhood cancer research.

Give by June 30 and your donation will be included in the grants we award this summer.

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Read more from Kris Doyle and her son, William: