Mid-Missouri charity celebrates a bittersweet goodbye to boy, cancer free

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COLUMBIA - On the first day of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, The Ronald McDonald House Charities of mid-Missouri said goodbye to a young boy who beat the odds.

The director of Family Services, Angela Huntington said Kenneth Hansen, now cancer free, had made a huge impression on everyone who works at the charity. 

"He had been with us off and on for a total of 165 days, and he's 2 years old," Huntington said. "So he spent a good part of his life with us, and he really worked his way into our hearts."

She said often times, families are with the Ronald McDonald House for months at a time, and their hope is contagious. 

"There's just nothing better. The hope that comes through the doors of this house, it chokes me up just thinking about it," she said. "It's just a really amazing thing to see and to be a part of these families' lives, as they go through just about the most awful thing they'll go through."

 The executive director of the Ronald McDonald House, Terri Gray, said the charity works closely with the MU Women's and Children's Hospital, to make sure even families from far away can get the best possible care. 

"When a family has a child staying there they can contact us, and we will provide room for the family to stay, while their child is receiving treatment," Gray said. 

Huntington said the Ronald McDonald House is a place where families can come and stay, who have sick or injured children. 

"Specifically for patients who have cancer, this is a wonderful place for their families to recharge after a long day of chemotherapy, testing or radiation," she said.