Cancer Bling

There are lots of things I'd like to do for 55 hours straight. I'd like to play video games, watch TV, shoot baskets, and eat for 55 hours straight. One thing I don't want do is run in a circle for 55 hours! My Uncle Greg does, though. Man he's fast! Next weekend my Uncle Greg and his friends are running in the Ultra 55 Snowdrop race for 55 hours. It is 55 hours because there are 55 cancer beds in the Texas Children's Hospital Cancer Ward. When my Uncle Greg told me about his race I wanted to help, too. I knew I couldn't run 55 hours. No way! So I asked if I could help in a different way. He told me about the Bling for Bravery program that the Snowdrop Foundation invented. They take race medals and replace the ribbons with special fancier ribbons. Then they give the medals to cancer patients after they have Chemo treatments. I knew after hearing this that the L3 Foundation could surely help!

My mom runs with Kingwood Fit running club and had a few medals to donate. She said that my buddies and I could talk to the members of Kingwood Fit about donating medals. Barrett, Michael, Jake, Nolan and I woke up at 6:00am on Saturday to ask the runners if we could have their medals. My friend Landon's dad gave us lots of medals from his triathlon club. Steve and Paula Boone are race directors in Kingwood and they gave us lots of medals, too. (They have A LOT of sock monkeys.) More friends of Mr. Ahrendt gave us some at 3B's. An instructor and body builder from Gold's Gym also gave us some. So far, we have collected over 760 medals!

My friend Landon Ahrendt was in the hospital a lot for Chemo treatments before he passed away in May. When I visited him we played video games, watched TV, shot paper baskets, and ate (not for 55 hours, but still)! There was nothing I could do to make him not sick, but I wish he could have had something to make him smile more. If these medals can make kids smile, then I would smile right back. And that’s pretty much what the L3 Foundation does.

Our new goal is 1,000 medals by December 31, 2014. There will be a drop box at Christ the King Church on Saturday, December 27th, from 6:30-9:00am near the picnic tables. The box is red with a white L3 on it. After Saturday, the box will be at the Court of Kingwood Shopping Center at 3031 Woodland Hills Drive, Kingwood, TX 77339 on the breezeway near the Better Body Personal Training store. Please consider donating any racing medal you have. Putting a smile on a kid's face is a way better way to honor your achievement than collecting dust in your closet!

Talon Balcom Age 11

Click here to learn more about Bling for Bravery

L3 Parking Token & Gift Card Drive

Just as my good friend Barrett Kenny recently did, I am now asking for everyone’s help. As many of you know Landon was my baby brother. He meant and still means the absolute world to me. He was constantly there with his corny jokes to make me laugh on a bad day or to sing a little One Direction with me. He was my buddy and I miss him more than I can describe. When Landon was going through his treatments I cannot remember a single time that I heard him complain- even when things got terribly bad. That’s the thing about these kids who are suffering through cancer . . .they are fighters. No matter how bad things get, they keep pushing through, something that I do not think I could do no matter how hard I would try. These kids did not ask for this battle, yet they have to fight for their life each and every day. It is not fair and it shouldn’t happen to anyone, no matter how young or old.

As Landon and my family, well mostly Landon, were braving through this challenging time, I made a promise to myself that I will make an impact, no matter how big or small, on the lives of the children who are facing this illness. That is where you guys come in. As some of you may already know, the L3 Foundation is putting on a gift card drive December 18th at Three B’s Grill in Kingwood. We will be there from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Our goal is to collect bags and bags full of gift cards and parking tokens to donate to Texas Children’s Cancer Center. Having to spend day after day at the Medical Center is very expensive. I know that when Landon was going through treatment, my parents would occasionally receive free tokens and it was a huge blessing and stress relief. I hope to provide this same relief for other families.

Because the holiday season is approaching us, this is the perfect time to give back to others. Something as simple as a $20 gift card can create many smiles. The last place these families want to be during Christmas is in the hospital, but it is what they must do to save their child. With your help, we can make this difficult time a little brighter, even if it is for a moment. I am so beyond thankful for all of the people who donated their time and energy to the hospital when Landon was there, because they made him smile that smile that I so love.

Now it is my turn. We can make a difference. Landon was not only my brother, but one of my best friends and any way that I can honor him and help make the lives of these brave kids a little easier, I will.

Thank you so much for your support.

– Haley Ahrendt

Kids Helping Kids Fight Cancer