Robbin and Kelly Lyons
Kelly’s Upside Down Ball benefits families challenged by a dual diagnoses of Down syndrome and cancer. Children with Down syndrome have a 20% greater chance of becoming affected by childhood leukemia than children without DS. Childhood cancer is the number 1 killer of children in the US.
Patients with Down syndrome and cancer and their families have very special needs in addition to those of the typical cancer patient. The dual diagnoses of Down syndrome and cancer can devastate a family. The patient suffers from a tragic disease and must undergo more than two years of difficult treatment, with the constant risk of life ending infection and other complications. The emotional and physical strain of caring for a child with a life threatening illness, coupled with special needs can be overwhelming. And the financial strain of the medical treatments and therapies can cripple a family’s ability to keep up with the bills. Even the best insurance plans won’t pay for everything these families need.
Kelly’s Upside Down Ball is run by The Indiana Down Syndrome Foundation, a 501©3 tax-exempt organization, which provides information, resources, and support to individuals with Down syndrome and their families in Indiana. The Upside Down Fund directly benefits families with financial gifts to cover some of the many expenses these patients incur that are not covered by insurance or government aid. The fund also supports Indiana pediatric cancer clinics with funding for special programs like the cancer bead program at The Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases in Indianapolis, the Kellbell Celebration Bell Project and providing hand held video players and videos for young patients. The Indiana Down Syndrome Foundation also provides support to families in need with hospital visits, meal deliveries, family support gifts and “adoption” of cancer patient siblings to let them know that they are not forgotten.
The Upside Down Fund directly benefits these patients and their families for the duration of treatment and beyond. Cancer patients, who have Down syndrome and their family members also get to attend the Upside Down Ball at no cost. It is a chance to celebrate these courageous lives as well as give the families something to look forward to.
I hope you’ll consider donating to this great cause. It’syour chance to help families faced with a difficult dual diagnosis. Donations are tax deductible. The Indiana Down Syndrome Foundation is an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Tax # 35-1957015.
Robbin Thomas Lyons