Sick Wichita kids and families help others in need

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A group of sick Wichita kids and their families are putting their illnesses aside to give back to other people in need.

The groups, Wyatt the Warrior, Eastyn Strong and the Bekah and Friends Foundation collected more nearly 1,200 items to be donated to the two Wichita Ronald McDonald Houses.

On Thursday, they took all of the items including things like food, drinks, and toiletries to the charity.

“These families get picked up in the middle of the night with an accident or something with their child they get shipped here, they have nothing,” said Wyatt the Warrior’s mom Candace Wright. “They need the shampoos, they need the toothbrushes, the toothpaste. they just need hygiene products, but we also have to supply food for them.”

Candace Wright understands what it’s like to stay at a place like a Ronald McDonald House. Her 8-year-old son Wyatt has Scleroderma, an autoimmune disease that effects the skin and the tissues located under the affected skin.

“He takes seven pills a day and he takes a weekly chemo shot, right now. He will do that for the next four to six years,” Wright said.

Amber Jamis, who also helped collect items for the Ronald McDonald House, has a son named Eastyn. He has eye cancer.

“We actually stay at the Ronald McDonald houses in Florida,” said Jamis.

Also part of the group that helped gather items was Kristen Crow-Merritt, the founder of Bekah and Friends Foundation. Crow-Merritt lost her 14-year-old daughter Bekah to ovarian cancer in 2012.

The group has made it their mission to give back to people just as others have done for them.

“Because when you are a family of a child with a chronic illness yourself, you know what it feels like when you need those things,” Wright said.

“This is my therapy. If I wasn’t doing something like this, I’d probably be at my house rotting away,” said Crow-Merritt.

Officials with the Ronald McDonald House were thankful for the group’s generous donations.

“This is absolutely 100 percent amazing. It brings tears to my eyes to see all of this,” said Wichita Ronald McDonald House Volunteer Manager Jamee Sholtz.

Ronald McDonald House in Wichita served about 1,200 families while their sick or injured kids were getting treatment in 2015.

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