Super Sam's family honors his last wish "to help all the kids"

2 months 3 weeks 5 days ago Sunday, May 20 2018 May 20, 2018 Sunday, May 20, 2018 6:47:00 AM CDT May 20, 2018 in News
By: Zara McDowell, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

FULTON - All 6-year-old Sam Santhuff wanted to do was comfort children in the hospital, even though he was there too, fighting his own battle.

Sam's impact is spread throughout the world since his death from cancer. His family carries out his daily wish and prayer, "to help all the kids."

The Super Sam Foundation is known for its "comfort packs."

"When I asked him, 'what made you comfortable, he said his stuffed animals, his soft blankets and his movies," said Sam's mom, Cassie Santhuff. "So we now include all of those items in Comfort Packs."

In a year, the Super Sam Foundation surpassed Sam's wish of sending out 1,000 Comfort Packs. But Sam died before he got to see the first one get sent out.

One of the most important relationships in his life was his sister.

She is making her own mark on the family's efforts to honor his memory.

"Sam's the face of it, but I'm the voice of it," 9-year-old Ava said.

She has started her own foundation, Ava's Avengers" to help young people whose brother or sister battling a disease.

Ava said cancer is a family fight.

"Your brother or sister get most of the attention or sometimes even all of it, so you never really get all of those presents or all of those toys, so sometimes it can feel a little lonelier without your brother or sister," she said.

That's why Ava's Avengers focus on "sibling packs." They are like Comfort Packs and their are different versions for boys and girls.

When Sam was in the hospital, Ava would always have a soft stuffed animal, a journal and pens to keep her busy and, when she was feeling "a little crazy," she always put on her "crazy socks." Sibling packs include those items.

Ava raises the money for her foundation through bake sales and activities at Super Sam events.

"You go for Super Sam Foundation and you stay for Ava's Avengers," she said.

Ava said the effort is bittersweet.

"But the thing that just catches my mind most is that sisters should be able to keep their brothers," she said.

The Santhuff family does not do all of this alone. Everyone involved in the foundation is volunteer.

Nine-year-old Lexi Hux and her family donate their time to create "Blessing Bags" for the moms going through the fight as well, like Ava's sibling packs. They have socks, trail mix and other snacks, some gum, wet wipes, a Super Sam water bottle, tissues, LuLaRoe leggings and pens. 

"The Blessing Bags are sent to hospitals statewide and this is their second year doing this," Cassie Santhuff said.

The Santhuff family stayed at a Ronald McDonald house when Sam was going through treatments. Now, they donate their Comfort Packs to The Ronald McDonald House in Columbia, St. Louis, Kansas City and the one they stayed at in Jacksonville, Florida.

Melanie Dixon, Columbia's Ronald McDonald House community relations coordinator said, "This giving organization and family knows what those families are going through and they want to provide comfort too."

The Super Sam Foundation also focuses on research support and advocacy. 

Members travel and advocate for more research for childhood cancer. The foundation has funded three grants as well. 

Sam's mom shared this story on the foundation's website,

"He asked, 'why do I have cancer?' I replied, 'I don’t know, but we are going to beat it.' He asked 'but not all kids do… why not?' With tears starting, I said 'because the doctors need more money to find the cure, but they are trying super hard.' Sam: 'We can give them my piggy bank, would that be enough?' I explained a little more about government funding and how kids cancer only get 4 percent and how we wanted really badly to make that higher. His answer was simple 'Maybe if we say please.'"  

The website says, "Every decision we make is based on three things: would this make Sam proud, would this glorify God and does this help all the kids? And if it does all three, we are probably going to do it."

Families are able to request packs online at The Super Sam Foundation's website. People who want to donate and volunteer can find information on that page as well.

More News

Grid
List
BOONE COUNTY - A chase through areas east of Columbia prompted modified lockdowns at five schools Wednesday morning. The... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 10:16:43 AM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Both westbound lanes of I-70 east of Kingdom City are back open following a crash Wednesday morning.... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 8:09:00 AM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Two medical marijuana November ballot measures are going to court ahead of the election, less than three months... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 7:13:00 AM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A new grand jury report says that internal documents from six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania show that more... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 6:20:00 AM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
BEVIER, Mo. (AP) — A suspect is hospitalized after being shot by a sheriff's deputy in north-central Missouri. Macon... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 6:11:00 AM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Sheriff's Department is investigating a shots fired case in northeast Columbia. Around 2 a.m.... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 4:50:00 AM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Assistant Police Chief John Gordon says the police department will be beefing up patrols in downtown Columbia this... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 11:30:00 PM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY - Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer announced he is conceding the race for the Republican nomination for the governorship.... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 8:18:00 PM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU researchers say they've hit a "milestone" in developing a cancer treatment that could be more effective than... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 6:57:00 PM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Voters will now be able to decide whether or not they approve of a gas tax increase,... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 6:37:00 PM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A judge ruled against Traveler Indemnity Company in a lawsuit stemming from Ryan Ferguson's wrongful prosecution and conviction... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 5:24:00 PM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The Indiana woman who lost nine members of her family in a duck boat sinking last month in... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 4:56:00 PM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A new state law on temporary license permits is just two weeks away from being enforced. The... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 4:02:00 PM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
VERSAILLES - The Morgan County Sheriff's Office said a man died from a gunshot wound on Sunday, and Versailles police... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 1:45:00 PM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - With school starting today for Columbia Public Schools students, some construction projects are finished while others are just... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 1:44:00 PM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
Jefferson City - One person was injured in a car crash on the Missouri River Bridge on Tuesday. The... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 11:48:00 AM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - An Osage County judge ruled in favor of Missouri Secretary of State Jay Aschroft on Tuesday in... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 11:34:43 AM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
BEVIER - The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating a deputy-involved shooting in Macon County. The man whom a... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 10:32:00 AM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 78°
2pm 80°
3pm 82°
4pm 83°
5pm 83°