It started with bruising up and down 3-year-old Kylie Beth Creed’s tiny body.
Some bruises, according to Kylie Beth’s mom, Shaleigh, were as big as golf balls. After taking her to the doctor, Shaleigh’s worst fears were confirmed: Kylie Beth had leukemia. Sadly, the girl’s against cancer ended just as quick as it began.
“We went to Egleston [now the Children’s Hospital of Atlanta] and came back without her,” said Creed. “Within one week, we went from a completely healthy child, to burying our baby.”
Kylie Beth died from a brain bleed, a complication of Leukemia.
Even more devastating, two family friends also lost their children to cancer within weeks of Kylie Beth’s death in 2013. Thirteen-year-old Kyle Abernathy lost his battle with Ewing’s Sarcoma that July. Eight-year-old Madison “Maddie” Shipman died from a brain tumor two weeks after Kylie Beth.
“Until it happened, I had no idea how common it [childhood cancer] is,” said Creed. “Every three minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer…. it’s hit our town .… people need to know.”
Now the three families, including family friend Brandy Murphy, are raising awareness, while honoring their children’s lives. On Saturday, the group, known as the Cures for the Golden Child, will be holding the first ever Gold Rush 5K walk/run and family fun day on Lafayette Square. In addition to the race, food, entertainment, and live music, they’ll be shaving heads to honor all children afflicted with cancer, and taking hair donations to make wigs. All the money raised will go to the St. Baldricks organization who helps fund research to find a cure for childhood cancers.
“Chemo and radiation is so hard on a child, and could lead to other problems down the road,” explained Creed. “There’s no research done to fine tune a treatment plan. We need research to ultimately find a cure.”
“LaGrange has been hit hard recently by childhood cancer,” she added. “We’re trying to get the word out. Our children may not be here, but we can do something in their honor.”
The Gold Rush 5K will be Saturday on Lafayette Square. The cost is $35. Registration starts at 7:15 a.m., the race kicks off at 8 a.m. The family fun day will begin immediately following the 5K. For more information, visit active.com and type in Cures for the Golden Child.