Local Family Plans Fundraising Event For Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital Sept. 26
Life has been hectic but fun for John and Whitney Moore and their four kids. They have always been happy, living their normal lives. That all changed two years ago, when their oldest daughter, Jayden, then 8 years old, began complaining of stomach pains. They took her to their pediatrician but couldn’t figure out what was going on. Jayden had surgery.
The team removed a cyst from her ovary, which is a bit unusual for someone her age. Two weeks later, Jayden’s pediatrician called to let them know that they had found cancer cells in her pathology. She was diagnosed with Ovarian Germinoma.
It was important to Whitney that they were open and honest with Jayden about her illness.
“Within an hour of us finding out she had cancer, we told her,” Whitney says. “She didn’t cry, she didn’t freak out. We told her what was going to happen and that we didn’t have all the answers but that we’d figure it out together.”
The Moores learned to be trusting and decided to hand things over to the people who knew what they were doing — the doctors and nurses at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital.
Within a week of receiving the diagnosis, Jayden started chemotherapy treatment at the children’s hospital. During her hospital stays she stayed in many different rooms. Her favorite were the themed rooms, which are decorated in ways that kids love. The Moores always requested a themed room, but it’s not always possible because the rooms are limited. Many kids are coming and going at children’s hospital. They’re there for anything from a broken finger or appendicitis to chronic illnesses and chemotherapy.
During one hospital stay, Jayden was in a non-themed room. The rooms are well equipped for medical needs but lack in color and design. Jayden suggested they bring in their own decorations.
Whitney inquired about what it would take to decorate a room and learned that it is expensive and quite a process. Each themed room costs $50,000. Half of these funds go toward decorating the room. The contractors have to meet certain standards to ensure they use hospital grade, sterile equipment so they can ensure a sterile room for really sick kids. The other $25,000 goes toward different programs for families in the hospital.
“We benefited from these programs,” Whitney says. “They have Art Therapy, Pet Therapy and Music Therapy. Art Therapy was Jayden’s favorite and helped her so much.”
Riley also has Child Life Specialists. These trained therapists come in during various aspects of treatment that might be a little frightening. They comfort or distract the patient with special toys or they offer coloring books and also bring special things for siblings.
Jayden faced her illness with a fearless spirit. Even during treatment, she was laughing and gave the nurses a hard time, all in good fun. She is an avid reader and has been reading at an advanced level since the moment she learned. Jayden read the Harry Potter series during her treatment, it was a great escape for her.
Because of Jayden’s love of the Harry Potter books, she placed a request to the Make-a-Wish Foundation to visit Universal Studios and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, in Orlando, Florida. The wish-makers informed the Moores that a local Westfield company, IMMI, offered to sponsor their entire trip.
“IMMI is amazing,” Whitney says. “They did not do this for recognition or to inflate their egos. Their heart is completely in it.”
Jayden is now cancer free.
The Moores are grateful for the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital that saved their daughter’s life. They are on a mission to give back to them by raising $50,000 — enough to sponsor a themed room.
The fundraising event will be held Saturday, September 26 at the Indianapolis Executive Airport located at 11329 E. State Road 32 in Zionsville. A catered sit-down dinner will be served inside a hangar — a space generously donated for use by the airport. There will be a couple of jets in the hangar and a live auction will also take place.