Kickin’ for Kids was established in 1995 to help fund research for pediatric cancer and immunologic blood disorders. In addition, we provide funding for programs that help improve the quality of life for children who are seriously ill or facing other life challenges. We provide financial support to agencies directly involved in these endeavors through fundraising events, donations, charity of choice events and volunteer support. We were founded on the principle that one person cannot do everything, but everyone can do something. By living this ideal, our work embraces Nicole’s belief that we are here on earth to help one another. We Help Create Possibilities

Why the feather?

When you lose someone you love and you’ve given up all hope, have faith that they are still with you. Sometimes they’ll leave you a little sign to let you know they’re close by – something as simple as a feather. Nicole, daughter of KFK founder, Marla Grant, leaves a baby feather for her now and again at the most amazing times and places to remind her that she’s very close – just a breath away.

One person cannot do everything…
but everyone can do something.


Emma, Nicole and The Connection to You

We were living abroad in Saudi Arabia when we learned Nicole had a life threatening illness. She was just seven at the time in 1988, with just six short years left before her bright light would shine from a distance instead of in our daily lives. Twenty-one years later I was stunned to learn of the full impact of her brief life.

Nicole and Emma became fast friends when Nicole was just four years old. No doubt their friendship was cemented in part because of the shared trials of dealing with brothers, Emma having one and Nicole with three. Emma and Nicole were parted for an interval during Nicole’s year of convalescence back in the U.S. but were happily reunited for one year upon her return to Saudi Arabia.  They reluctantly said goodbye to each other for the last time as the family returned to the U.S. when Nicole was nine.

Every once in a while in life we are privileged to see in stunning detail the threads that weave our stories together, creating a beautiful web of connection. Thanks to the wonders of social networking, nineteen years since last seeing Nicole, Emma found me on Facebook in 2009, and in a moment of poignant connection, shared the following with me about her short five years as Nicole’s friend:

…… in all honesty, I can’t say enough how profoundly my friendship with Nicole has impacted my life. (I’m a bit reticent to say it here – it is too big for Facebook, I feel like it deserves some bigger forum.) I know, as her mom, you feel biased, but in this case, it’s so very true. Even as her friend, I feel the same way. The lessons she taught me about how to be in the world – with enthusiasm, and love, and kindness – are things I am grateful for everyday. And that giggle! It’s one of my strongest memories of her. Ooh, boy. Phew. (All these years later, and I still get a bit teary-eyed.)
                                                                   Love, Emma

We share this very poignant look inside the friendship between two little girls and the legacy that a child of just nine left with her friend (the depth of which surprised even me) to remind us that the mission to find a cure for pediatric cancer is ultimately about the treasure each child brings the world – the ripple effect of their goodness and love. I was aware of all these attributes in Nicole, but was quite surprised to hear this from Emma 14 years after Nicole’s death.  Emma is now a young woman who has lived a very active, giving life in the interval since Nicole’s death. Imagine the number of people she has in turn positively impacted, perhaps in part because of her friendship with Nicole.

Childhood cancer is not just a disease that robs a family of a child; the loss of a child means the loss of all their gifts that could have been shared exponentially with the world; courage, compassion, kindness, unrealized potential, optimism, love – all the things that touch our lives so deeply and help heal the world. It’s the light that fuels each child’s precious life and it’s so worth fighting for.


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