About Kids With Courage
In 2013, American Family Children's Hospital and UW Carbone Cancer Center will hold the fifth Kids with Courage program for survivors of childhood cancer, their families, and the families of children who last their battle with cancer. It is a celebration of life, hope, courage, strength and the miracle of modern medical research.
Kids With Courage began in 1993 when the University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center celebrated its 20th anniversary. It was the first major reunion for all children treated for any pediatric malignancy at the facility.
The reunion planning committee devoted considerable effort trying to identify an appropriate theme and title for the reunion. In describing the children who had faced cancer, and who would be invited to the reunion, much discussion was directed at an accurate description for childhood cancer "survivors." At one point, Kelly Cotter, herself a childhood cancer survivor, said, "All children with cancer, even those that didn't make it, are ... kids with ... courage." It was a perfect name to capture the spirit of the participants and the event itself.
More than 700 people attended the first Kids With Courage. It has been held every five years since, with more than 1,000 people attending the last reunion held in 2008.
Since its inception, supermodel Cindy Crawford has served as the Honory Chair. Her younger brother, Jeff, was treated at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and died of leukemia just before his fourth birthday. Ms. Crawford has been a prominent spokesperson for cancer research nationally and a generous supporter of American Family Children's Hospital (formerly UW Children's Hospital) and the UW Carbone Cancer Center.
The mission of Kids With Courage is to celebrate the brave children who have faced cancer, to tell the promising story of how dramatically childhood cancer survival rates have increased and to call attention to the importance of research in continuing to unravel the mysteries of cancer until it is completely curable and preventable.