OAK MOUNTAIN, Ala. (WBRC) – Members of the Oak Mountain Middle School basketball team do their part for Kids Join The Fight – a nonprofit organization founded by 9-year-old Walker Beery that brings awareness and funding to childhood cancer.
According to the website, only 4% of cancer research goes into childhood cancer.
Sadly, Walker passed away in September after battling a rare form of childhood brain cancer.
“For two years he treated with radiation — chemo at his home in New Orleans and in Houston, Texas. And the last few months of his life, he was here in Birmingham, and at the children’s hospital, he treated radiation and chemo, but Walker, he didn’t let that put him down. He was happy. Always smiling,” said Stewart Civils.
Civils is his uncle and coach at Oak Mountain Middle School and often inspired his players by telling them the story of Walker.
“Whenever we have a tough workout or have a hard time, Walker is someone I would raise to remind them that we have adversity and problems, but my cousin Walker has had to fight cancer,” said Coach Civils.
Walker was the inspiration again during Oak Mountain Middle School’s basketball game against Clay-Chalkville.
Director Dr. Larry Haynes helped hand over a check to Kids Join The Fight for more than $1,600 raised during that match.
“It’s just a very touching story to see how brave this young man was in his short life. The basketball team wanted to get involved and do something to raise money for Walker’s Foundation,” said Dr. Haynes.
Haynes noted how students gave money to charity instead of buying extra pizza and bought T-shirts and bracelets.
It’s exactly what Walker had in mind.
“His slogan has always been that you can do anything, no matter how big or how small,” said Civils. “There’s a way on the KidsJoinTheFight.org website if kids want to join in and start a team and something as small as a lemonade stand — that’s exactly what Walker’s vision was to get kids involved.”
To get a sense of Walker’s heart on this subject, watch a video of his explanation behind the foundation on the website.
Civils says the family is keeping Walker’s legacy alive through the Kids Join the Fight Foundation. The goal is to raise a million dollars in the first year and he says they are getting close.
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