Angel’s Hope is an organization putting smiles on the faces of children battling cancer.
On Saturday, the organization hosted a Tropical Wonderland at the Belk Activity Center in Bowers Park, offering children and their parents a small getaway from the struggles of cancer and its treatment.
Angel’s Hope founder Kim Eaton is no stranger to cancer and its horrors. Her daughter, Angel, was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma in 2013 and passed away Sept. 18, 2016.
Angel began planning her tropical-themed event for her fellow patients while she was undergoing treatment last year, Kim Eaton said.
“She grew up in Hawaii, so she really wanted to share a little piece of her paradise with her friends,” she said.
Eaton said Angel’s Hope formed out of Angel’s desire to help children even while she was fighting her own battles, and her idea of offering children and their families a momentary respite from the rigors of treatment is one that Eaton said she’s continuing in her daughter’s honor.
“It’s literally everything that she wanted,” Eaton said. “All the games are what she put together. We have a hula group that’s performing, and they’re teaching the kids some hula, which she really wanted. Everything that she wanted, we tried to make happen.”
While it was a stress-free, fun day for children and their families affected by the disease, there’s one thing they want everyone to know.
“(Cancer) can happen to anybody,” said Shawna Mcintosh. “It happened to us, and you never imagine it can. You never know when your life with change, so just be kind and give back.”
If you’d like to donate to Angel’s Hope, visit angelshope.org.