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Children's Mercy patients honored during Big Slick red carpet event

Posted at 10:54 PM, Jun 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-09 00:39:01-04

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Thousands of people spent their morning at Prairie Fire hoping to get a glimpse of the celebrities who flocked to Kansas City for Big Slick KC.

But before the famous folks hit the red carpet, another set of stars got to strut their stuff — the patients of Children's Mercy Hospital, like Reese Davis.

"Reese was born with cancer," his dad, Lon Davis, said. "He was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in his neck, chest, lungs, liver, everything."

After a year of treatment, Reese beat the disease, but the tumor crushed his spine leaving him unable to walk.

"He has taken to the wheelchair and decided to turn it into costumes and have fun with it," Davis said.

For the red-carpet affair, Reese and his wheelchair dressed up as Ant-Man, his hero and a character is played by Shawnee Mission South graduate Paul Rudd.

Reese's dad thanked the Big Slick hosts for giving him a brighter future.

"What these celebrities do, they come here and support Children's Mercy, which saved my son's life," Davis said. "I can't thank them enough for everything they do."

Madison Schwartz, 6, came with a special sign for the stars to autograph. It said she is in remission thanks to Big Slick KC.

"She had brain cancer," Madison's grandmother, Sandy Wilder, said. "She got diagnosed twice. The first time she got rid of it, and the second time came back stage 4."

Now, Madison is celebrating her new life in remission. Her family believes the money raised through Big Slick, which is no in its 10th year, helped save her.

"Without them, I don't know what we would of done," Wilder said.

The stars said these stories are what keep them coming back each year, so they hope they can keep supporting Children's Mercy.

"What they do for the patients and for the families is extraordinary," said Olivia Wilde, who is engaged to SM West graduate and movie star Jason Sudeikis. "It's nothing short of miraculous. Without Children's Mercy, those children who not be able to have that care."

Big Slick weekend wrapped up Saturday at the Sprint Center for another benefit party, auction and concert.

"It's an incredible show," CNN anchor Jake Tapper said. "There will be such a wide array for incredibly talented people. Not me, but really incredible singers and actors. It's fun and it is for this amazing cause and the things they auction off are incredible."

For results of the Big Slick online auction, visit the charity's website.