In February of this year Sacramento Pipeworks hosted the Keaton Raphael Memorial Group, a great organization that helps the families of kids with cancer. Their mission is “to support children with cancer and their families with emotional, educational, and financial support while increasing awareness and funding research toward a cure.”
When a child is diagnosed, lives are completely flipped upside down. Daily routines change suddenly: traveling back and forth to hospitals, staying in hotel rooms, and eating on the road all become the new normal. Oftentimes jobs are lost and incomes are cut, putting even more strain on an already stressful situation. The Keaton Raphael Memorial’s goal is to care for the family and provide resources they need to stay afloat financially and emotionally during this trying time.
As the children with cancer are generally too sick to climb, Pipeworks hosted their siblings for a day of climbing. Keaton Raphael Memorial explained that often the siblings of the cancer-stricken kids get forgotten in the panic of a cancer diagnosis. A day at Pipeworks was a day for them to get some attention and to help them remember that they are kids again.
When Keaton Raphael Memorial was brainstorming ideas for their event, they wanted to create a space where kids could go to feel challenged and validated. By the end of the day, they could say without a doubt that their children had a great time! Here are some of the kiddos’ and parents’ testimonials:
- Sariah (first-time climber) said: “It was fun, I got to do whatever I wanted really, and it was challenging so that was a bonus.”
- Abigail (first-time climber) said: “Fun yet challenging atmosphere. Love the sense of accomplishment! Truly fun for the whole family.”
- Latoya (parent): “Loved it. It was great for the kids to get out and get their mind off the passing of their brother. Thank you for everything.”
- Katie (first-time climber) said: “I had a really great time and hope to do this again some other time in the future!”
The Keaton Raphael Memorial kiddos and parents truly did enjoy a day of laughs and aching hands. Many of their families had never considered doing this type of thing, but together with Keaton Raphael Memorial we created an outlet for them. Some of the kids who climbed were in remission or still had cancer, but even then this did not stop them from trying their hardest to reach to the top.
Sacramento Pipeworks was honored to host such an incredible organization. If your nonprofit or school group would like to come climb with us, or if you would like to know more about our outreach programming and community development, please contact our manager for details.