Cancer survivor shares importance of Children’s Miracle Network Support

Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 10:26 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Enjoying a great music festival is just the ticket to supporting kids fighting health issues.

Country Stampede is partnering this year with Children’s Miracle Network. Kaydence Hare, 9, of Topeka knows firsthand why the support is so important.

Kaydence loves to dance and she loves fashion.

“You get to have fun with your friends on the stage (when you dance),” she said. “I think (being a) fashion designer is a way that you can express yourself through fabric.”

She also remembers one very special friend.

“He’s always smiling and he’s fun and he makes everything positive. He would dress me up as Doc McStuffins and he would be my patient,” she says with a smile.

Kaydence is talking about a man who worked as a child life specialist at Stormont Vail Health, when she was a patient undergoing cancer treatments.

Her mom Cori says Kaydence was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor, a form of kidney cancer, at the age of 15 months. She had surgery to remove her right kidney, and, a year and a half later, battled cancer in her other kidney.

“Kaydence has been through quite a bit,” Cori said.

Yet, the stories Kaydence tells about her time undergoing treatment are filled with light-hearted moments.

“Every time I went into surgery they would give me a popsicle,” she recalls. “You got to choose between orange red or purple - and I always chose the orange ones.”

Cori is glad for those memories.

“When Kaydence remembers the hospital, she really doesn’t have a lot of negative memories. She has a lot of positive memories and a lot of that has to do with funds that are raised through Children’s Miracle Network,” she said.

Stormont Vail is Topeka’s Children’s Miracle Network hospital. Money given to CMN provides equipment for Stormont’s NICU; supports the breast feeding clinic; provides toys, iPads, and games for pediatric areas; and funds the child life specialists, who give kids distractions and explanations on their level.

“Those things may sounds simple, but they mean so much when you’re working with kids who - they’re going through their hospital experience for the first time and it’s scary and overwhelming and these people can really support them,” said Hannah Maddy, Stormont’s CMN program manager.

Maddy says CMN relies on community partners like Walmart, Dairy Queen, Panda Express and, for the first time this year, Country Stampede to make their programs possible.

“The amazing thing about CMN is that all of those dollars stay local,” she said. “We’re helping kids in the 15 county region that we serve - kids in Manhattan, kids here in Topeka, kids in Holton, Hiawatha.”

Mel Cori is grateful for the support that’s made Kaydence a happy, cancer-free nine year old. Other than a yearly check-up on her remaining kidney, she can do pretty much anything.

“It’s incredible,” Cori said. “Most people who don’t know her would never know what she’s been through until she tells her story.”

Kaydence is proud of how her story is unfolding.

“I’m a strong girl now,” she said. “I did it.”

Country Stampede is offering promo codes for people to get a ticket discount. Every time it is used, they will donate to CMN. For example, “STORMONT22″ gets $30 off a three-day general admission, and Stampede donates $30 to CMN. Buy tickets by clicking here.

Country Stampede Discount Code Campaign:

3 Day General Admission Ticket


Gate Price: $190 Your Price: $160 CMN Donation: $30

Thursday General Admission


Gate Price: $75 Your Price: $60 CMN Donation: $10

Friday General Admission


Gate Price: $130 Your Price: $115 CMN Donation: $15

Saturday General Admission


Gate Price: $150 Your Price: $130 CMN Donation: $20

Once you enter the code, the original price of the ticket will change to the discounted cost. Buy your tickets at

Other ways to help Children’s Miracle Network:

· Walmart Round Up Campaign (happening until July 10)

· Club Car Wash $10 Tuesdays (Every Tuesday) – discounted car wash to $10, with $1 donated to CMN at Stormont Vail with every wash

· Panda Express Round Up happens in February

· IHop National Pancake Day and Dairy Queen Dip It for Kids happens in March

· Ace April Round Up and Ace Bucket Days happen a few times a year

· Dairy Queen Miracle Treat Day happens in July

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