This week we are joining with Invacare, the leading manufacturer of home and long-term care products, to spotlight the winners of their Real Life campaign. The campaign, launched in April of 2011, brings to light achievements of those with disabilities. A contest was held to spotlight those who have triumphed over their disability. 4 winners were selected and each received $9000 for them and their charity of choice. Today’s real life hero is Quinn Clarke, an 11-year old cancer survivor.
Quinn Clarke was first diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancerous tumor formed in the soft tissue of muscle, at the tender age of two. After chemotherapy, he went into remission, but 7 years later the cancer returned in the form of another tumor. In an effort to raise awareness of this cancer and hopefully find a cure, the then 9-year old Quinn decided to organize a kickball tournament in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. His mother, Allison, had experience with forming a charity organization, having founded Flashes of Hope, a charity that offers free professional portraits for children with cancer. With her help, he organized the first Kick-It kickball tournament in just 5 days. More than 500 people showed up to play in the inaugural tournament and it raised thousands of dollars for cancer research. Over the next few months, Kick-It tournaments popped up all over the country.
Meanwhile, Quinn underwent a 14-hour surgery to remove the tumor from his pelvis and, along with it, his left hip. This left him unable to walk, but it didn’t stop him from continuing his kickball tournaments. He continued to play and promote the tournament from his wheelchair, and then after months of rehab and therapy, Quinn was able to walk unassisted.
To date, 400 games have been played and over $600,000 has been raised for children’s cancer. The charity has even caught the attention of the Cleveland Indians who regularly join the players on the field for kickball games and support Kick-It as sponsors. The money raised from the tournaments goes to a multitude of research centers around the country including the Children’s Tumor Foundation at Harvard Medical College and the Children’s Oncology Group.
Today, Quinn continues to organize and play in tournaments, and serves as an inspiration to others. His motto is “The more kickball games you have, the more kids you save.” Invacare learned about Quinn’s story through a fan, Taylor Johnson, who was so inspired, she made a video tribute to him. Her amazing video is shown below.
If you would like more information on Quinn and Kick-It, visit http://www.kick-it.org.
Invacare Corporation is the world’s leading manufacturer and distributor of innovative home and long-term care medical products, but the Company is more than just products — it is what those products allow people to do every day. The Invacare tag line is, “Yes, you can.®” and that is more than just a saying; it’s a way of life. Invacare creates solutions that Make Life’s Experiences Possible™ for the people who use its products, from the student finishing their bachelor’s degree with an Invacare® power wheelchair to top athletes using Invacare® handcycles and chairs to compete at the highest level in events like the Boston Marathon, the Iron Man and the Paralympics.
About the Author: Lindsey Beacham, from Atlanta, currently serves as Marketing Coordinator for UroMed. She graduated from Auburn University with a B.A. in Criminology and then from Georgia State University with a B.B.A in Marketing. When she’s not doing marketing or getting additional degrees, she enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time with her family.