JACKSONVILLE, FL - They've helped turn a tragedy, into a triumph.
"That's why we do what we do to honor her legacy. She was so brave. She's our inspiration," said JF Kiernan about his daughter Christy.
JF and Carol Kiernan created Christy's Fund as part of the Child Cancer Fund of Northeast Florida after losing their daughter Christy to brain cancer back in 2005. Their journey started back in 1997 when Christy was about to enter first grade, but was diagnosed with brain cancer.
Christy went through rounds of chemotherapy, and even a surgery that left her payalyzed on her right side. Undaunted, she taught herself how to write with her left hand, even joining her first grade class despite a number of challenges, including losing her hair.
She continued to battle through the years, earning a spot on the honor roll numerous times, but sadly Christy's cancer would return in 2003. She underwent a number of experimental treatments, including a stem cell surgery, but sadly Christy would pass in May of 2005.
During her treatment, the child life specialist position at Nemours was crucial for not only Christy, but the other children battling cancer.
Carol Kiernan said, "she has the most infectious laugh and I think that’s another reason why the kids love her. She makes them all laugh," when speaking about Miss Joli. She even said that many kids come back
As a tribute to Christy's life and spirit, the Kiernan family started Christy's Fund. The fund aims to keep that child life specialist position permanantly funded. For the Kiernan family, it's their daughter living on.
"Imagine that no family in Jacksonville will have to go through this alone. That the Joli position will always be there. That’s our daughters legacy," said JF Kiernan.
With your generous donations, you can help every kid fighting cancer have that ray of sunshine in their battle.