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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

KIDS KICKING CANCER INC

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Health, Health Support, Patient & Family Support, Youth Development Programs

Mission: KIDS KICKING CANCER supports families facing pain, illness and even death, and reframes their realities to allow them to embrace life. Through weekly programs at hospitals and clinics, as well as home visits, our highly trained staff teaches meditation, breathing, relaxation and visualization techniques, as well as traditional martial arts techniques to help children manage acute and chronic pain. Participants in our programs move from "victim" to "victor", becoming empowered physically, spiritually and emotionally.

Programs: Martial arts classes to ease the pain and empower the healing of sick children throughout the united states of america, including the transportation to the classes.

Community Stories

27 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Kids Kicking Cancer is amazing! They focus on the needs of our children in a friendly, fun, and safe way. It allows them to do normal kid things when other factors in life have prevented them from doing or feeling so. They provide an environment for smiles and excitement along with the teaching them their own power, peace, and purpose.

Brandon M.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization goes above and beyond to help children with debilitating illnesses learn to manage the pain and anxiety brought on by their health issues and the associated treatments while also providing the children with a sense of normalcy, control, and a social group of peers experiencing similar situations. They are amazing!

Previous Stories
1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization has helped my daughter in so many ways. She's 4 years old going through cancer treatment and has learned to deal with the pain through breathing techniques taught by kids kicking cancer. They are generous, outgoing, and care about each child that comes to their program.

Client Served

Rating: 5

In 2013 we had the misfortune of having our 8 year old granddaughter diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma (an aggressive childhood cancer). The diagnosis came right out of left field-no warning signs,symptoms or anything. Trying to get over the initial shock and process the information rather quickly (the treatment needed to start immediately)-we felt helpless as to where to turn to for information and resources. Alot of the information we got from the hospital was rather cold and clinical. Luckily our pediatric oncologist was a board member for the Kids Kicking Cancer organization and we were able to get a brochure from the hospital. To say that KKC made the difference of our granddaughter surviving is no exaggeration. At the time we made contact with Kids Kicking Cancer-she had whittled away to under 50 lbs. She had stopped eating and stopped caring. Kids Kicking Cancer was founded by Rabbi Goldberg-a doctor,rabbi,black belt and a father who had lost his own daughter to leukemia. His organization is a martial arts therapy program for the kids and a social/support network for their families. The weekly classes teach breathing techniques to help the kids relax when they receive their treatment. The families are a support group for one another-who better to understand what you are going through than someone going through it themselves. There a monthly outings to movies etc. There is free transportation to classes for those without. We celebrate together-we pray together-sometimes we grieve together. The organization started small in Southfield Michigan and now is worldwide. It is completely free to patients and their families. Even when our children are in remission-the kids still come to classes. We have an extended family forever-our Kids Kicking Cancer family. My granddaughter is just about 5 years out from her treatment and we have lifelong friends through the program. This is an awesome Nonprofit group.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My family became involved with Kids Kicking Cancer within weeks of my breast cancer diagnosis at the age of 33 yrs old with a young daughter. Our family was devastated because we were planning a second pregnancy and instead ended up battling cancer. Joining KKC was amazing. Our instructor, Sensai Peter (Davenport) is amazing with the children and helped draw my daughter out of her shy four year old self. He helped build her confidence and normalize her emotions and the emotions happening in our home. We came to class regularly for 2015-2016. Once we started to move forward and away from cancer we stopped coming to class but did participate with some of the social outings for families, which were always well planned and great fun for our whole family. Unfortunately in early 2018 my cancer returned and we came right back to class and were warmly welcomed back into the Kid Kicking Cancer family by the same staff. My daughter seems to be getting even more out of the classes now that she is seven and can process even better as an older child. While I would never want any family to join ranks with us I can say that this organization is amazing and so very helpful to families in crisis.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

They have made such a huge impact and difference in many lives. We are like one big happy family when we are together. It helps heal us emotionally and physically to empower us and to look forward to taking a giant leap into the future.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Kids kicking cancer is a blessing to our family. They have helped us plenty times we were in need. From teaching my son breathing techniques through karate that he uses when hospitalized and transfused monthly to helping when my children needed coats and gloves and putting us in contact with donors who were able to be a blessing to us. Not to mention the fun things my children are able to do thanks to this organization. We are grateful to be apart of it and highly recommend it!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Kids Kicking Cancer is an amazing program!! Everyone that runs the program is so welcoming and kind! Our son was diagnosed with ALL (Leukemia) when he was 2 1/2 years old. His treatment was very intense for the first 7 months. He is also a twin, so his brother had his own issues with the diagnosis. When we started the program both boys really enjoyed it! They were very comfortable with the teachers. Our son would go to his doctor and be able to breathe through the pain of getting his port poke. He has been doing that ever since we started the program, he even sits by himself to get the poke! This program also has so many wonderful outings for the kids. We are always worried about getting sick, and all of the outings are always cleaned thoroughly before we go! It is amazing to not have to worry about them getting sick!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has a chronic illness and has to undergo painful procedures on an almost daily basis. Kids Kicking Cancer has helped her deal with her pain, as well as improve her confidence and overall joy in life. The staff are incredibly kind, professional and knowledgeable and we feel like they are our family. Kids Kicking Cancer is an absolute blessing and we are so grateful to be a part of it!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My family at kkc is the best family that I have come across. I’ve been there a little over 2 years and they have helped me in so many ways. I love the power breathing they taught me I use it when I’m in the hospital, or in school and I’m stressed out, or even when I’m frustrated and ready to give up I think about what kkc has taught me. They bring me so many laughs and joy and even when I don’t feel well or I’m in the hospital they’ll text me, or come and visit me. We also have good times when we go out to basketball games and football games, hockey, I went to my first baseball game thanks to kkc they have fulfilled my loneliness and showed me that cancer defines my strength and we all are strong we have power, peace, and a purpose to teach others that they can do anything even with a sickness

Lovie J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Kids Kicking Cancer is very special to my family. It helps bring families together. It's keep structure in my children life with continuous events all year long. The Karate classes weekly. In my community there's not much to look forward to for lot of kids, families, and to have access to these opportunities and resources are truly a blessing. We absolutely love this program and all the great people that keep it going, but dedicating their time to these kids exposing them to new great things/ adventures. We thank you.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

When my son was diagnosed with cancer almost two years ago our live has changed dramatically. Ian couldn’t go to daycare anymore and had to be isolated from most of the people. It was hard for him and us parents to keep him away from other kids, but it was necessary since treatment was suppressing his immune system and any flu could delay chemo therapy and lower effectiveness of the treatment. For me very difficult part of our new reality was dealing with treatments, side effects and all the pain and discomfort that my son had to physically and emotionally overcome. We are so thankful for Kids Kicking Cancer. My son loves coming to the class since the first time we came in spring 2017. The class gave him an opportunity to interact with other kids his age. It gave him a chance to run out his energy and have some fun. It was safe place for Ian where he didn’t have to worry about how other kids will react that he doesn’t have hair, has port in his chest and stitches on his face. In here he was like other kids. He opened up a lot and learned to talk about what he is going through. He felt like he has a story to tell. It built his self confidence. He wasn’t a victim of the cancer, he was a warrior, little hero and he had a mission to teach the world how to cope with fear and pain. Class gave me and my husband peace of mind that Ian is in safe environment, taught us how to talk with Ian about what he is going through and made us really happy that he has fun and enjoy the class. We had a chance to connect with other parents and share our experiences. We are so thankful for teachers, their patience, heart and amazing abilities to empower kids in such a hard circumstances. We appreciate that teachers and volunteers from Kids Kicking Cancer not only teach the class, but also visit kids at the oncology clinic and hospitals. It brighten up our long days and always made Ian excited.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Hi, This is Ron&April Gayles; Eli Gayles parents. Eli, has Hemophilia A Serve with Inhibitors. When we first signed Eli up for this class, we really didn't known what to expect. Once we started taking him to class, he really enjoyed it, and couldn't wait for the next one. Kids Kicking Cancer, and the Power Breathing exercise; has been so helpful with Eli's positive outlook: On his health, and life. We as parents, appreciate all of the support, and activities; that Kids Kicking Cancer has provided for our kid's. Because without them, and support from sponsors, and everyone else who makes all of this possible. We would like to sayThank you, for this very much appreciated program.

The Gayles Family





1 Phyllis Flowers Puleo C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Kids Kicking Cancer has helped my family out tremendously! It's brought hope, helpfulness, laughter, and a new family to ours.
My daughter was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma at age 7. She wasn't able to have her tumor removed due to the location, so she had chemo and radiation. Then we went on a downward spiral. So she lost all her hair (devastating to a 7 year old who wanted Rapunzel hair), she lost so much weight she had to get a feeding tube, and ended up getting a blood clot (which meant more daily shots and no acting like a kid, because if she gets hurt she could bleed to death.)
This poor little kid had been through more than most adults i know. I believe she was giving up and didn't believe the doctors or us anymore.
We met one of the sensai's in the hospital, her social worker told him about her. I guess i didn't understand it at first ( non contact karate)? How could this help my child?
Well... Not only karate but breathing techniques, meditation, and kids. KIDS LIKE HER! Kids who have been through the same thing.. Non judgemental kids. Helpful kids to tell her how to breath so when she gets her shots or bad medicine, she's calm and not crying. Letting her know that they also lost there hair but it did come back. ( she didn't believe us) Seeing how they were actually going through what she was, but are throwing punches, kicks, and yelling HI-YAH. Giving her hope. She had that light back in her eyes!! Laughing and being a kid again(without getting hurt).
The Sensai's are great, they teach them discipline while still having fun. Not feeling sorry for them, they normalize the situation. (Because some parents(me) tend to baby them) THEY NEED THIS!
This also helps us parents. We learn new things from other parents. Tricks to gain weight, ways to save money, different options for your kids. Like if something didn't work for your kid maybe this will help, it worked for theirs, then you can ask your doctor.
Kids Kicking Cancer invites us to many events. We've become a family and everyone is excited for the next meeting.

1 Adrianna M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

When Camila was diagnostic with Willms tumor. Children's Hospital social worker, told my about Kids Kicking Cancer. I wasn't sure, if I wanna go. But I decide to go. My daughter loves it. They are so nice, so kind and help me and my daughter, they teaching her how, control anger, pain and cope with this situación.
Love this organización. Love them..

1 Michelle344

Client Served

Rating: 5

When Aiden was diagnosed with Leukemia at 3 years old, our world flipped upside-down. We were frozen in a moment trying to find a new normal. Kids kicking Cancer became an extension of our family. A community of support through the most difficult time imaginable.

Aiden was able to interact with children his own age, also with cancer. His sisters able to meet other siblings going through the same hard time. Kids Kicking Cancer is a fantastic martial arts program, no impact, with a focus on internal strength. More than kicks and punches (there are a few of those) KKC uses "power breathing" and meditative "body scans" to empower children take control of their pain and fear. Aiden at 3 was using these techniques to power through procedures, port accesses, and blood pokes. When I tell you he is a favorite patient in blood draw there is no exaggeration.
His sisters use the same breathing to help with frustration, anxiety and fear that comes along with a cancer diagnosis. As parents we use the same power breathing to some how make it through the day!

There were so many things we could not do after diagnosis. So much time we missed out on as a family. KKC has given us back that family connection. They have and continue to support us through our journey, in-patient and out. More than just an organization!




1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It’s all about the kids; punching, giggling, kicking, making goofy faces, blocking, laughing, being kids! But it’s also about learning; being still, breathing, focusing, listening, talking to one another, dealing with pain, anger, frustration.

I have been a volunteer with Kids Kicking Cancer for over a year. I assist with the martial arts classes in the Southfield office, working primarily with the 3- to 6-year old children. I am honored and privileged to be a part of this organization. Everything they do is about the kids; from the classes to the special events to the inpatient and outpatient visits. I have never seen a group of people more focused on their mission and purpose, or an organization as successful at bringing some light into the darkness that our kids must face through no fault of their own.

Power, peace, purpose - that says it all!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve been a volunteer at Kids Kicking Cancer for the past 18 months. The Kids Kicking Cancer organization has created an environment unlike anything else I have ever witnessed.

I spend most of my time with children in the three to five year age group (there are also sessions for older children). Although they are young children, many of them have had to deal more challenges than many adults, myself included. Kids Kicking Cancer helps the children to deal with their challenges, on a physical, mental, emotional, and social basis.
I still remember the first class I attended. The class instructor told the class it was time to do a body scan. The idea being the children lie down, do some deep breathing and consciously focus on relaxing each part of their bodies. I’m thinking to myself, this isn’t going to last long - a room full of three/four/five year olds all lying down doing meditation. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, each and every student, lying still with eyes closed. The only sound in the room was the quite voice of the instructor walking them through the meditation.

In some respects the young children seem mature well beyond their handful of years, but they are also fun loving kids. They love to laugh and joke, kick and punch, crawl through tunnels and waiting for their turn to go under the big parachute.

Everything about Kids Kicking Cancer is focused on the children. Whether it is teaching meditation techniques, or an opportunity to allow children who may have never had a chance before to see a baseball game or go trick or treating.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Kids kicking Cancer organization has been a God send for my family! My six-year-old son has sickle cell disease. I have always been an advocate for teaching my children that the sky is the limit. Every time we drove by an institution the advertised martial arts my son would say “mommy I want to do karate”. In my mind I felt that one false move could trigger a sickle cell pain crisis. I did not want to go back on telling my son there was nothing he couldn’t do . I was explaining my dilemma with a friend of mine whose son had just gone through and survived cancer. She introduced me to kids kicking cancer. Once she explain how this organization implemented power breathing and how much it helped her son with pain, I was sold. I prefer natural holistic treatment vs narcotics any day!! Once we joined this organization, I had no idea all the other great opportunities this organization offered to my family. The community they create in being able to speak to other families thats going through the same thing has been Phenomenal! Finally someone who understands my situation that I can relate to. Last but certainly not least my son has a sister who is one year older than him. She has often expressed feeling like she gets less attention and feels left out. The older she gets the more she’s beginning to understand the complexity of his disease. The awesome thing about kids kicking cancer is that this organization allow siblings to participate as well. This is giving my daughter a chance to meet other children with diseases as well as meet their siblings that are going through feelings similar to hers. This has helped her to truly empathize and understand her brother so much more. I am so grateful for this organization. They work so hard at helping families gain some type of normalcy. I don’t know where we’d be without them!!!

1

Client Served

Rating: 4

This is a place of healing and taking back control of mind and body for my 3-year-old daughter as well as for me as a parent of a child with a life threatening illness. Participating in Kids Kicking Cancer has changed our lives for the better. A unique and incredibly valuable resource for families going through journeys during and after treatment.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My granddaughter Haley was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma in 2013. She was 8 years old. Rhabdomyosarcoma is an aggressive pediatric cancer that attacks the body's muscles. The diagnosis came right out of left field-no sickness-no clues-no nothing. She was to start chemotherapy and radiation therapy immediately. In the mind of an 8 year old Im sure she felt isolated and confused. Her life had been turned upside down. She got extremely sick. She lost alot of weight and weighed less than 50 lbs. She stopped eating because she thought if she ate she would get sick. We thought we were going to lose her. Enter Kids Kicking Cancer. This organization is a martial arts therapy program. Haley has always wanted to take martial arts. The program was started by Rabbi Goldberg-a doctor-black belt martial artist-and a father who lost his own daughter to cancer. There are weekly classes taught by martial arts volunteers and is a non contact class. The children are taught to breathe through their pain and are told that they are powerful martial artists. The cancer patients and siblings can participate in class and it is a great social network for kids and their parents who can talk to someone who can relate to your circumstances. The martial artists will come to the hospital and visit the students when they are sick and being treated. There are many outings for the students and family throughout the year. The program is free of charge and there is transportation provided to students who have no way of attending the class. The students-families-and staff encourage each other. The organization has tripled in size since we joined in 2013. The change it has brought about in my granddaughter is unbelievable. She has become Kids Kicking Cancers biggest cheerleader. We owe so much to this organization-the founder Rabbi G-the program director Cindy Cohen-the Senseis Richard-Peter-and Michael and all the staff. We love love love this organization. They do so much good.