Weaverville – The following is from Weaverville Assistant Chief Somer Oberlin about Kalina Meinc, an eight-year-old who died of cancer, and a fundraiser being held in her honor. Here is the story in Assistant Chief Obertin’s words:
“Our paths crossed one sunny Saturday in September of 2020. The Weaverville Police and Fire Departments were requested to participate in a parade after the second battle our young resident, Kalina, had fought with childhood cancer.
“It was the first time we’d met this family and the first time we had ever heard of the devastating effects of a Wilms (kidney) tumor. We couldn’t get out of our vehicles to greet her or her family; no candy could be thrown or gifts given because Kalina was still too immunocompromised.” Less than three months later, the family endured more devastating news. “A third reoccurrence happened, but this time there would be no celebratory parade.” Childhood cancer would send Kalina to heaven in June of 2021. She had just turned eight years old.
“Sorrowed by the loss in our community, the Weaverville Police Department had gold patches made to wear on our uniforms in an attempt to bring awareness to childhood cancer. Although Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is September, we wondered if there could be a better time to debut the campaign than during the July 4 celebration while our community is gathered all together. We invite everyone to a children’s area in front of our town hall on July 4, where we will celebrate the life of Kalina with her family. There will be a dunking booth, and for a few dollars, folks can make a donation to further Wilms tumor research while they try to dunk volunteers like the school resource officer, the principal, or the police chief. Fundraising t-shirts and Childhood Cancer Awareness patches will also be for sale, with all proceeds donated to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Childhood cancer is not as rare as most people think. Comprised of over 100 different types of cancer that specifically affect children, it is the leading cause of death by disease for children. One in 285 is affected. One little girl and our neighbor. Please consider stopping by the town hall on July 4 or visiting http://mskcc.convio.net/goto/HonoringKalinaMeinch to learn more about how to help.