Karing 4 Kids Programs
Kids Beating Cancer provides children and their families with fun activities, parties and basic necessity support to survive the day-to-day critical and complex needs that occur while their child is in treatment.
The Story of Bunky
Bunky, the trademark teddy bear for Kids Beating Cancer, began his journey to bring love, comfort and companionship to children with cancer, leukemia and those receiving bone marrow transplants many years ago when he met a young boy named John. John was preparing to receive his second bone marrow transplant for Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) that had evolved into the high-risk Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML).
John was very sad to once again have to go through the 100+ day transplant process, only 10 months after going through his first transplant. At that time, John had to be transplanted at a hospital all the way across the country due to his age and severity of his disease. Bunky and John became inseparable. He was John’s comfort and companion. If Bunky was by his side, all could be tolerated. They were together till the end when John lost his battle at the age of nine after a difficult four-year journey.
John loved his Bunky, and wanted him to live on, so other kids would feel safe and loved. Bunky was reborn at Kids Beating Cancer to offer that love to other children. In early years, he was handsewn and went through several changes as he became a symbol of Kids Beating Cancer.
In 2013, Bunky was redesigned and a new Limited Edition Bunky was created. Over the years, thousands of Bunky bears have been delivered all over the US to children battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases. John’s spirit lives on through all the joy his pal brings to every child that receives this soft, cuddly and treasured new friend.
Children who register with Kids Beating Cancer to participate in any of its programs, receive a cuddly trademark Bunky Bear® nationwide, and blankets, toys and gifts during milestones while on treatment.
In Florida, registered members of Kids Beating Cancer, “Bunky’s Pals” are invited to all Central Florida activities, including seasonal parties and a variety of sporting and other ticketed events. Some of the annual parties are Easter Party & Easter Egg Hunt at Florida Hospital for Children, Summer Luau, Rock ‘N Art at Hard Rock® Hotel Orlando, Spooktacular Halloween Party at SeaWorld® Orlando and the Holiday Party & Children’s Candle Lighting Ceremony at Walt Disney World® Contemporary Resort.
Orlando Magic Basketball, Circus, Orlando Sun Soccer, Orlando Ballet, Legoland® and other events donate tickets either through the agency or through season ticket holders, to Kids Beating Cancer for children and families. Tickets are distributed to children registered with Kids Beating Cancer through Bunky’s Pals.
For the Love of John
John’s last Christmas wish was to receive a bicycle. His family at the time could not afford one. Because he was not expected to survive his disease, others thought it was not an appropriate gift for him. Although many showered him with other gifts, there was no bicycle under the tree. John believed, when he did not get the bicycle, it was because all hope was gone. It was a message to him that he was not going to live and brought him great sadness. John’s love for what every child enjoys, the freedom and joy of riding a bicycle, inspires in his memory and offers a bike to any child requesting one, even if their prognosis is poor. Every child deserves hope.
In partnership with Orlando Ballet School, Kids Beating Cancer children can attend special ballet classes and learn at their own pace at no cost to the families. The practice of ballet provides an outlet for kids to build self-confidence and concentration. Kids that are going through cancer therapy benefit from ballet, as it increases flexibility, improves posture and strengthens their muscles.
Forms for KBC kids to attend Orlando Ballet School:
Class day and time is dependent on age of the child. Siblings can also attend classes. You will need forms filled out for each child attending. All ballet clothing and shoes are provided by Kids Beating Cancer, and a gas allowance for transportation is available for each family.