About Cars Curing Kids and McKenah

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About Cars Curing Kids and McKenah

Contact Information

Michelle Oster

(608) 265-9144

oster@surgery.wisc.edu

Cars Curing Kids is a group of car collectors and auto enthusiasts who are committed to supporting research and programs for childhood diseases at the American Family Children’s Hospital. The group was founded by Dr. Peter Nichol, a pediatric surgeon at the Children's Hospital when he was inspired by one of his patients: McKenah.

Dr. Nichol has a passion for cars and hoped others with the same passion might be interested in using cars to raise money for research, especially for diseases that aren’t common and significantly underfunded. In 2014, Dr. Nichol formed a board of car collectors/enthusiasts to launch Cars Curing Kids.

About McKenah

McKenah never got a fair shot. Her birth mother never received the prenatal care she needed. As a result, she came into this world 12 weeks before she was ready. Shortly thereafter, she acquired a severe infection of the intestine. In a matter of days, 98 percent of the intestine was gone. The intensity of the inflammation from the infection in her 3 pound, little body damaged her brain and would leave her unable to even sit up when other kids her age were walking. She would never be able to use her words because she would never talk.

Kris was her neonatal nurse and took care of McKenah almost every day for the first 4 months of her life. When McKenah had no home go to, Kris became her foster mom and then adopted her. Kris’s other kids loved McKenah or McKenley as they referred to her. No one, however, was ever under the illusion that McKenah would live a long or normal life. So they didn’t hold back. For more than 3 years after she left the hospital, they took her everywhere, swimming with dolphins in the Keys, boat rides on the Madison lakes. Endless rides in the stroller when Kris was out running. However, at the age of three, McKenah died on a Monday, at home, loved but a life devastated by a disease that is largely preventable.

McKenah's Story

Why Donations Are Important

McKenah's doctor, Peter Nichol, talks about how even smaller contributions can kickstart initiatives like breast milk banks, which can go a long way to preventing the disease that gave McKenah such trouble. Donate today