Faces in the Crowd: Kamryn Kares
A Black Hills toddler who passed away from a cancerous brain tumor is memorialized with a non profit organization in her name, Kamryn Kares.
Kamryn Schumacher – a little girl with a contagious smile and lots of love to give.
Kristy and Dustin Schumacher, Kamryn’s parents say, “She was so much fun, all she wanted to do was laugh and joke, and make you laugh.”
A healthy girl up until 1 ½ years old, she began stumbling while walking and randomly vomiting.
Dustin says, “She played and ran around and just like any other kid. We did regular check ups, all the regular (immunizations) – everything that a normal parent would do. And everything was always fine up until that time, and it was so sudden.”
“The doctor told us I’m sorry to tell you this but Kamryn has a brain tumor,” says Kristy. “The tumor she had was called the DIPG and it was not survivable – it takes away every ability and the child slowly, so it’s a cruel death. It was very hard for us.”
No matter what kind of day she was having, Kamryn always made sure to let others know she loved them by showing them her own special version of the “I love you” sign. As her disease progressed, this sign was Kamryn’s only voice that she used for everyone she encountered.
“Like you don’t know day by day when the last time you’re going to hear your little girl say ‘I love you,’ she’ll be there after that, but she can’t say ‘I love you’ anymore, ” says Dustin.
After numerous surgeries and chemo – she fought for close a year until she took her last breath in May 2017.
Dustin says, “She was such a trooper through all of that – she never made a fuss. She was so tough.”
A friend of the family thought to spread Kamryn’s legacy of love, through Kamryn Kares – a non profit organization that donates and ships bags with toys, books, and learning tools to children across the U.S. who are fighting big battles, completely funded by donations.
The bags help children in hospitals to feel loved and special.
Amy Stuefer, Kamryn Kares Co-Founder, says “[The parents} will send a picture of the kids and bag and that super fantastic to see, because that is what it is all about.”
The love of a toddler is making a differnece across the country.
Kristy says, “She’s still moving mountains, she still spreading that love and ‘Kamryn Kares,’ that’s what it is all about, showing everybody what kind of person Kamryn was and making sure everyone feels as loved, as I hope she felt.”
If you know a family with child fighting a big battle go to the website www.kamrynkares.org and complete a “Bag Request Form .”
It’s a simple process and the questions asked will allow the organization to prepare an individual bag just for the child.
September is childhood cancer awareness month. According to American Childhood Cancer Organization, about one in 285 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with the disease and cancer remains the most common cause of death by disease for children in America.