KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — One family is giving back after battling their own challenges with pediatric brain cancer.
The Starry Night Knoxville run raised money for research and safer treatment for children with brain tumors. The Hamilton Family started Starry Night Knoxville six years ago.
“So Brody was diagnosed with a brain tumor when he was in second grade,” said his dad Bo Hamilton. “He’s doing fantastic. So we wanted to find a way to give back to the brain tumor kids and other kids going through tough times in the hospital.”
Brody was eight years old when he was diagnosed.
“I don’t remember much,” he said. “It was just hard. I was in there for like a week and a half.”
He’s a little older now, but his dad still gets emotional when talking about what they had to go through.
“I can’t talk about it ill just start crying,” His dad said, “It’s tough for any parent, but there are a lot of kids and parents that have gone through worse, and we’re kinda best-case scenario. So we want to give back and support those parents that have a tougher burden.”
Their family is now helping families like the Cucksey’s.
“This is an event that’s near and dear to our heart given his condition,” said A.J. Cucksey’s mom Shannon Cucksey.
A.J. is a pediatric brain tumor patient at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.
“A.J. was diagnosed with multiple brain tumors when he was four years old and he’s 11 now,” Cucksey. “A.J. is on a chemo regimen that has been great.”
The money raised from the race will helo kids like A.J.
“I just want to thank the people who’ve attended this to raise money for Children’s Hospital,” he said.
Because of his treatments at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, A.J. can just focus on being a kid.
“A.J. is able to play football, he plays cello, he’s in the chess club, he goes to school every day, and those are all things that anybody who has gotten anything like that or knows somebody who goes through something like that this is the kind of thing they hope to see their children be able to do,” said Shannon.
Brody Hamilton and his dad, Bo Hamilton, want to see more pediatric brain cancer patients have the same opportunities.
“Just to see like other kids getting the stuff they need to get them through this is nice,” said Brody. “It makes you feel good to do stuff like this for other people.”
All proceeds and donations from this run will go towards purchasing state-of-the-art MRI goggles for East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.