Normally, I would never ask anything of you, but this is different.
This is about keeping an angel’s light alive. It’s about making sure a little girl who spread nothing but light and sunshine will always be remembered.
Kate Amato was diagnosed at age nine with rhabdomyosarcoma, an aggressive soft tissue cancer. While most people in this situation would feel sorry for themselves and wonder why they were going through this, Kate did the opposite: she continued singing, dancing, and riding horses, and went out of her way to make others smile, always putting others before herself. She radiated light and love, and made sure everyone she came across left with a smile on their face.
I will never forget the night I met this beautiful, strong, incredibly courageous girl.
It was March 11, 2016. I had just given a speech at the Tim Tebow Foundation Celebrity Gala, and was sitting with my father, watching their live auction, when he told me to turn around. I did, and there was Kate, looking gorgeous in a blue dress and dazzling smile. She gave me the sweetest compliment on my speech, and I wrapped my arms around her, hugging her tightly. I was blown away that on a night where she was being honored as Tim’s special guest, she took time to come over and brighten my night. The thing is, though, she did more than just compliment my speech. In those few minutes, she showed me what true beauty is: a kind heart, endless positivity, and unwavering faith in the Lord, even when life is throwing everything it has at you.
I don’t think she knew how much she impacted me that night. Suddenly, the things I worried about no longer seemed to matter. What right did I have to get frustrated and upset when my cerebral palsy prevented me from doing something, when there was a little girl fighting for her life in a hospital room? Who cared that people stared at my walker, when Kate was going through so much more than I ever had, and never let it get her down? Kate did more than just compliment my writing that night. She became my strength, my encouragement, and my inspiration.
On November 30, 2016, Kate went home to be with the Lord. She left behind a legacy of kindness, light, and love, and will live on in the hearts of those she touched. I will forever remember and love the little girl who showed me such genuine kindness and love. Now, I ask for your help in making sure her light continues to shine.
Her mother recently shared that Dr. Tim Cripe, Kate’s clinical oncologist, has created “Kate’s Crusade”, a video game in which cancer patients can fight their cancer virtually. In Dr. Cripe’s words: “This game will be fun, but more importantly it will help kids fight their cancer. Studies have shown that imagery can help heal disease, and with this game cancer patients will be able to visualize their cancer and be the one who attacks it… To personalize the game, we will create several different versions, and players will be able to choose options that match their situation – leukemia, cancer in the leg bone, or the lungs, or the brain. They will then be able to attack it with a variety of options that simulate real-life chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. There will also be experimental treatments available. If they are too slow, the cancer will grow, in which case they will receive video instructions from a doctor onscreen about things to do differently. The game won’t end until the patient is cancer free!”
He has set up a Kickstarter fundraising page, and to date, has raised $7,558 for the project. While this is a good deal of money, the project must be funded in its entirety by April 30th, or it will not exist. I ask that you would consider donating, to help all of the incredible kids who battle this horrible disease, and to honor sweet Kate, who touched the lives of thousands in her eleven years.
To learn more about Kate, you can visit her Facebook page.