Sporting KC players featured in calendar supporting children with cancer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Right now, you can buy a calendar featuring Sporting KC players and children with cancer.

Money raised from the calendars goes to Braden's Hope for Childhood Cancer, an Olathe-based non-profit. Deliece Hofen started the organization after her son, Braden, was diagnosed with cancer as a toddler.

Ryan Jacobs, 11, is one of the children on the calendar. He was diagnosed with leukemia when he was only five-months-old. After going into remission, then relapsing again, he received a bone marrow transplant. Now, he is a happy, healthy boy who dreams of becoming an exotic animal veterinarian and theater performer on Broadway.

"I just think it's really cool that guys that important are going and taking the time to do stuff with kids who are having troubles and always living in the hospital," Jacobs said. "Just to give them a chance to do something else."

Sporting KC goalie, Jimmy Nielsen, is on the cover of the calendar this year. It is his second year being involved.  He said it's important for professional athletes like him to give back to their community and help others.

"You see how they light up and their eyes are shining and they're happy, having a blast," said Nielsen. "They all been through a very, very tough time and that's a day that I'm sure the kids will remember for many, many years."

Many Kansas City Royals players also posed for a similar calendar this year.

The calendars are for sale for $10.  All of the money raised goes to childhood cancer research through Braden's Hope.  This year, the organization gave a $100,000 grant to a researcher in Houston who was studying neuroblastoma, a form of childhood cancer.

To order a calendar, visit www.bradenshope.org .

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