In a hospital in Portland, Oregon a young girl named Penny befriended a nice man who worked in an office on the ward she stayed on. Penny was in the hospital receiving treatments for cancer and the man, whose name was Frank Morehouse, often came by to visit.
During the visits Frank liked to act silly to make Penny laugh. When her hair began to fall out she began wearing different wigs. When Frank came to see her he would pretend not to recognize her much to her delight.
One day Penny went to Frank’s office and said to Frank that she was going to die but not to tell her parents. Astonished, Frank asked who told her she was going to die. Penny said nobody told her but that she just knew she was going to.
During the same conversation she made Frank promise her two things. First that he would attend her funeral, and second that he would do something so that other kids didn’t have to do what she was going through.
Years went by and Frank never forgot about Penny. Recently Frank became the Lieutenant Governor for the Pacific Northwest District of Kiwanis International. His region includes Kiwanis clubs from Alaska in the north, the Yukon, B.C., Washington, Oregon, northern California and part of Idaho. Now he’s using his leadership position with Kiwanis to make good on his second promise to Penny.
At the Lake Country Kiwanis Club’s AGM last week Lt. Governor Lee Chic from Osoyoos gave a presentation to spread the word about Frank’s project.
At the hospital where Penny received her treatments Kiwanis has been a big financial supporter of an excellent children’s cancer program for years. Using funds donated by Kiwanis the program treats young patients, trains new specialist doctors and includes cutting edge research initiatives. The program has increased cancer survival rates from 10 per cent to close to 90 per cent for certain cancers says Lee.
Lee explained to the Lake Country club that Frank wants to see the cancer program at the hospital in Oregon expanded to the Vancouver Children’s hospital and to another children’s hospital in Seattle. The Lt. Governors in the Pacific Northwest District have pledged to raise at least $500,000 to support Frank’s project.
The Lake Country Kiwanis Club is already planning to make a contribution to the cause. Options for a local fundraising event are also being explored.
All of the money raised in Canada will go towards expanding the childrens cancer program in Vancouver. Additionally, Kiwanis Canada will match $1 for every $3 donated through a Canadian Club.