(WHTM) – When you donate to a cause, it’s very rare you get to see or meet the people and families your donation helps.
Midstate parents Tracy McLain and Perry Smith are on a mission to help raise awareness for childhood cancer after losing their daughter, Ellen Smith.
Ellen was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 10. Ellen passed away 8 years ago.
“She fought for about 4 and a half years….and went through treatment and then was clean and then she relapsed and went through treatment a second and a third time, but the cancer just became so aggressive that she passed away,” said Tracy.
On Saturday, was the Smith’s 4th Annual Float. More than 40 friends and family members kayaked from Simpson Park in Mechanicsburg, down the Yellow Breeches about 5 miles, to celebrate Ellen’s life and birthday.
“Well, she loved to kayak which is why we kinda rolled one of her favorite activities into this event. Really happy-go-lucky all through treatment, she smiled, had a smile on her face,” said Tracy.
The float raises money for, Four Diamonds, an organization that supports families in the fight against childhood cancer.
Because of the Four Diamonds Fund, Tracy and Perry never saw a bill for Ellen’s treatment.
“It’s just one of our other ways of giving back to ‘four diamonds’ who was so awesome to us when Ellen was going through treatment,” said Tracy.
Over the years, through several events, Tracy and Perry have raised more than $136,000 for Four Diamonds.