I am pleased to be on the Kiwanis Doernbecher Children’s Cancer Partnership (KDCCP) Board of Directors. I have been a member since the late 1990’s and I really love to see what they have done to help children with cancer and other debilitating diseases.
Kiwanis are continually looking for ways to raise funds for cancer research.
They sell donated vehicles, Christmas ornaments, conduct golf tournaments and arrange for bike rides.
KDCCP’s biggest moneymaker is an automobile raffle. Every year they purchase a new Ford Mustang, customize it, make it unique and then use it in a raffle. The winning ticket is always drawn on Labor Day at the Oregon State Fair. They always try to get an outpatient from Doernbecher to draw the winning ticket.
This year, the KDCCP board asked Cedehlia Jeffers, a perky upbeat 11 year old, to pick our winner. Cedehlia is the daughter of Preslee and Teresa Jeffers. Preslee is owner of Action Metals Refinishing, a business located in Hubbard, Oregon.
Cedehlia has dark blond hair and a most beautiful smile. She attends 6th grade in Silverton Oregon and would appear to be like any other 11 year old, except that Cedehlia has been an outpatient at Doernbecher for most of her life. She arrived, at the fair, in a wheel chair. It was not long ago that she had been hospitalized and her parents did not want her be overstressed.
Cedehlia has had to endure a large number of different operations. Recently, the doctors completed a difficult procedure on her spine. The specialists at Doernbecher removed a small section of her spine, repaired the nerves inside, and then replaced the section that they removed.
I asked her mother, Teresa, about how her daughter’s problems had impacted their lives.
“We have made at least two to three trips to the hospital every month,” said Teresa, “and there have been months when we have made as many as 16 trips.”
I remarked that Silverton is a good distance from Portland. Teresa replied, “When we visit the hospital, we try and get as much done as possible. It’s not unusual for us to see as many as 6 different doctors in a single day.”
It was 6:45 PM on Labor Day. The last raffle ticket had been sold and we were ready to draw for a winner.
Cedehlia got up from her wheel chair, reached into the rotating bin and drew the winning ticket.
This year’s winner was Michael Iles, from Gresham Oregon. He was immediately telephoned and a date was set up to deliver the car to him.
I enjoyed being there and being able to talk to someone who Doernbecher has helped. Thousands of children are helped each year at Doernbecher. It is pleasing to know that we have a “world class” children’s hospital right here in our part of the west. I am proud to belong to a group of people who care and are trying to make our world a better place for our children.