May 25, 2018
For more than a year, Jayson and Marilyn Whitney didn’t know why their infant daughter, Reese, was so sick. They felt helpless watching their baby suffer without reason.
Their trial came to a head with a devastating diagnosis: a rare brain cancer.
Marilyn was struck by the news.
“I had to have the doctor tell us more than one time,” she said. “I made him show me the MRI just because I was in so much disbelief that my 18-month-old had this tumor that was making her sick.”
There was little time to reflect. Reese needed an emergency surgery the next day and the medical team had to start their work immediately.
The Whitneys struggled to comprehend the life-threatening situation and the impact it would have on their five older children at home.
But, thanks to generous donors to Sanford Cure Kids Cancer, Reese and her family had an amazing support system to fight her cancer.
Cure Kids Cancer at Sanford Children’s helps purchase state-of-the-art equipment, expand programs, further research, and support special programs and services such as Child Life, Back to School, summer camps, social work and much more.
Donors support CKC through a variety of events throughout the year, including the L Couture Fashion Show where Reese’s impactful story was shared this year. You can watch it here:
Lori Dykstra coordinates the L Couture Fashion Show. She has been a dedicated supporter of Cure Kids Cancer ever since her son, Jakob Beier, lost his battle with brain cancer in 2003. Jakob was just 5.
For five years, Dykstra has raised money and awareness for kids with cancer through this special event.
“Thank you to everyone who donated, volunteered, modeled, performed or in any small or big way supported this event this year,” she said. “I’m happy to say this was our biggest year yet.”
Megan Kjose, Sanford Health Foundation development officer, said the L Couture Fashion Show inspires all who attend.
“You leave feeling compelled to do your part, just as Lori has by merging what she loves most: fashion with raising funds for an area so near and dear to her heart,” Kjose said. “We’re so thankful for all who give services, time and talent to make this night such a huge success for our Cure Kids Cancer heroes.”
Guests enjoyed shopping, live music and a live fashion show while helping give kids like Reese a chance at a bright and fulfilling life. That’s all Marilyn wants for Reese, now a spunky and happy 6-year-old.
“I just want her to grow up,” Marilyn said “I want her to go to first grade and middle school and graduate high school. I want her to fall in love and I want to see my husband walk her down the aisle. Those are my hopes and dreams.”
More than $33,200 was raised at the L Couture Fashion Show to benefit Cure Kids Cancer through the Jakob Beier Memorial Endowment for Children. This brings their five-year total to $129,000.
Thank you to everyone who attended the L Couture Fashion Show. We hope you’ll join the fun again in 2019.