Our story began in 2002, when Cindy Kerr’s son, Ryan, was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer, just days after his 12th birthday. Ryan was terrified and Cindy felt helpless. So she did the one thing she could think of to ease his fear—(and hers) she sewed a bright, cheery hamburger print pillowcase to make his hospital room seem more like home. For the next year, Cindy sewed a new pillowcase for every chemo and every surgery. But not just for Ryan, she began making pillowcases for ALL the kids with cancer at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). And as she sewed, “ConKerr Cancer - A Case for Smiles” was born with Cindy totally unaware of all the lives she would soon touch.
Six years after Ryan’s death, we have delivered almost 700,000 pillowcase smiles – all through volunteers. We are unique in that, our mission is heartfelt, our work is simple, the impact is immediate, we are driven by volunteers and our fuel is love.
September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness month. Did you know there are over 44,000 children currently being treated for cancer? ConKerr Cancer runs a month long ‘event’ called Miles of Pillowcase Smiles. The goal of this month long event is to sew one pillowcase for EACH of these 44,000 children – in 2012 we sewed 62,198 pillowcase smiles! Our goal for 2013 is to meet or exceed that amazing accomplishment.