In August of 2019,
Walker was diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive pediatric brain cancer, Medulloblastoma. Throughout surgeries, hospital stays, and multiple radiation and chemotherapy treatments, Walker’s infectious courage, and gratefulness continues to amaze his family, his medical community, and all who encounter him during the fight for his life.
A gift of a teddy bear from a fellow cancer patient given to comfort Walker in the hospital made Walker’s “nose burn”. When Walker tells his father that his “nose burns” it is their code for happy tears. The overwhelming feeling of this small gift from someone living a similar experience encouraged Walker to want to give back to others as well! It is this simple generous act of love that we hope to replicate that “nose burning” feeling over and over again to kids fighting their own battle with cancer.
Walker’s relentless desire to help other children battling cancer has inspired Kids Join the Fight, a movement to invigorate the superpowers of children and empower them to raise money to defeat pediatric cancer. The money raised will fund global research for pediatric cancer and provide the local support services and care so desperately needed by these pediatric cancer patients and their families – all while teaching the next generation of fundraisers the feeling of gratitude associated with giving back to their communities. Throughout this journey, The Beery family has learned the sad reality that children only represent 4% of overall cancer research funding in the United States. This statistic is staggering and a harsh reality for so many! With only 3 new drugs approved for pediatric cancer treatment since 1980, the children that survive their childhood cancer are destined to have long-term effects from the toxins used to treat them.
The joyful strength that Walker brings to his relentless battle against pediatric brain cancer coupled with his desire to help other children in the same position is the inspiration for the child-centered, creative fundraising efforts of Kids Join the Fight.
“I am grateful for all of the people I got to meet during my cancer experience. In Houston, there was this girl who gave me a teddy bear, and my nose burned, which means I felt happy. It makes me feel happy too when I do nice things for people like she did for me.”
Through all of his hospital stays, needles, scans, and medicine, Walker continues to remain very proud of the fundraising efforts that he has inspired for kids with pediatric brain cancer. The Beery’s dream is that Kids Join the Fight can make a significant impact to fill the large gap of under-funding for kids' cancers. The goal is to raise money for researchers to find a CURE and also make a big impact in helping provide CARE for the children and families who are faced with pediatric cancer.