Eight-year-old Kinley Strohl is not only cancer-free, but she’s paying it forward by helping others.
On April 26, Kinley will be part of a charity event to sign up people to be bone marrow donors, featuring a bake sale to raise funds for the Be The Match Foundation, and collection of craft items to give to National Children’s Hospital through Kinley’s Krafts. The event will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 26 at Ohio Wesleyan University’s Bishop Cafe in the Hamilton-Williams Campus Center.
“This will be our first bone marrow drive, and we’re also in the process of planning one at Ohio State in the future,” Kinley’s mother, Michelle Strohl, told The Gazette. “This will be getting our feet wet.”
Kinley, who attends Buckeye Valley East Elementary School, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2011.
“Even though the cure rate for that is very high, Kinley had the rare high hyperdiploid form of it,” Michelle said. “Normal people have 46 chromosomes in their body, and Kinley had only 23, so the cure rate drops from 80-to-90 percent down to 40 percent.”
Kinley had a lifesaving bone marrow transplant months later, and is two years in remission.
“She was in the hospital for 66 days straight, and the main thing she liked to do was the crafts,” Michelle said.
Upon her release, Kinley put up a lemonade stand, using the funds she raised to buy supplies so that the kids at Children’s Hospital could make their own crafts.
When told by Children’s that many of the supplies she bought were still being used, Kinley told her mom that she wanted to continue to collect supplies including glue, glitter, pencils and notebooks.
“We decided, “Let’s just host craft drives and we take them to Children’s, so we don’t necessarily have to do lemonade stands,’” Michelle Strohl said.
On April 18, they donated five or six large boxes of crafts to Children’s. “In two short months, we’ve collected thousands of crafts,” Strohl said.
Michelle Strohl is justifiably proud of her daughter.
“It’s awesome to see her get excited about giving back, and we had so many people give back to us while Kinley was ill. It’s even better to give back now that Kinley’s healthy. It’s so good to see a community come together for us.”