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Sisters of David Pearson, teen who died of brain cancer, start a program in his memory
Date published: 6/11/2012
By CATHY DYSON
The sisters of David Pearson, the Stafford High School student who died last month of brain cancer, have started a program in his memory.
Austin Pearson, 17, and Kelly Henshaw, 13, have created David's KIDS. It's an outreach of the Fairy Godmother Project, which helps families of children with cancer.
KIDS stands for Kids Inspired to Do Something.
Austin and Kelly plan to devote their attention to siblings of children who are sick. They know what it's like to watch from the sidelines as someone suffers--and to feel a little bit left out in the process.
"Everybody focuses on the child with cancer, which is understandable and how it should be," Austin said, "but there are other people in the family who are hurting."
Kelly added: "We wanted to do something to let the siblings know they're special, so they're not feeling left out."
The girls already have scanned bargain bins to put together a number of "goody bags," which they plan to distribute on the 15th of each month, in honor of David's birthday.
David was born Jan. 15, 1994, and was 18 when he died on May 11. He suffered with an aggressive form of brain cancer for 20 months.
He always focused his attention on others, his sisters said. They remembered words the pastor had spoken. The only concern David had, the preacher said, was how much his illness hurt his family.
"He's always been a giving person, and we want to keep that going," Austin said.
The sisters will direct their efforts toward siblings of children whose families are being helped through the Stafford-based fairy godmothers. The group currently is working with nine families; seven in the Fredericksburg area and two in Richmond, said Director Andie McConnell.
The fairy godmothers provide regular meals, cleaning and lawn services as well as gift cards for food and gas.
Austin and Kelly will fill their gift bags with coloring books and crayons for children who may need something to do while they're in the car headed toward appointments or treatments. Older kids might get iTunes gift cards, food or the increasingly popular Duck Tape. That's a roll of sticky stuff, just like the multipurpose duct tape of old, that comes in various colors and designs ranging from pink camouflage to peace signs.