Ravenna resident Morgan Kainrad-Taylor knows first-hand the high level of care Akron Children’s Hospital provides its patients and families.
“When I was 3, my parents noticed things were off with me so they took me to Akron Children’s,” said Morgan. “After some tests that night, the doctors discovered I had stage 2 acute lymphoblastic leukemia.”
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) happens when the body makes too many lymphoblasts, a type of white blood cell, and is the most common type of childhood cancer. Morgan immediately started treatment and still remembers how hard it was for her family.
“One night my numbers were very low and things weren’t looking good. My parents had to tell me there was a chance I could die,” Morgan said. “I could never imagine having that conversation with my child.”
Morgan remembers though waking up the next morning feeling completely fine.
“My doctor, Dr. Krill, described it as a miracle, but I am so thankful for him,” she said. “I would not be here if it wasn’t for him.”
Now 24, Morgan has been cancer-free for 20 years and has a child of her own. Her son is one of the reasons why she’ll be participating in the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon & Team Relay for the first time next month when she runs the half marathon.
“My son is a year old, and I was looking for a good, healthy outlet because mom life can be stressful, so I started running,” Morgan said. “I also noticed if I pushed him in his stroller while I ran he would fall asleep every time. So honestly my love for running started because I loved that he would actually take a nap.”
Morgan said taking the extra step to raise money for Akron Children’s as a Children’s Champion was a “no-brainer” after her battle with childhood cancer.
“They 100% saved my life and raising money for the hospital is the least I could do,” she said. “I’m hoping to raise $1,000 and help a family like my family was helped.”
Despite the seriousness of her diagnosis, Morgan still remembers how much fun she had during her time at Akron Children’s. She loved getting visits from the Doggie Brigade and said she remembers clowns coming in to do shows for the patients. Most of all, Morgan says she remembers how much the staff genuinely cared about their patients and how that shone through in every interaction.
“I would encourage everyone to sign up to be a Children’s Champion – you’re changing lives,” Morgan said. “You can raise money to help children get the best possible care, and as a child who benefited from the generosity of hospital donors, I know my family was eternally grateful!”
You can click here to help Morgan reach her goal of raising $1,000; and if you’d like more information on the Children’s Champion program, you can reach out to Nicci Avalon at email@example.com.