COLUMBIA, SC — Keldon Hemingway is a champion for childrens health.
While waging his own battle against cancer, the 12-year-old Hammond School student wowed University of South Carolina Dance Marathon participants with his dance moves earlier this year and regularly shares his experiences in front of large groups as he advocates for childrens hospitals programs and services.
Keldon has been named South Carolinas 2014 Childrens Miracle Network Hospitals Champion. The youngster was selected for his courage and attitude while living with an inoperable brain tumor.
Keldon and his family will serve as spokesmen for the Childrens Miracle Network, and he will join other state ambassadors across the country who will share their stories with national audiences in November in Washington D.C. and Orlando, Fla.
Locally, Keldon will be the featured speaker and advocate for Palmetto Health Childrens Hospital for special fundraising events for Childrens Miracle Network Hospitals partners in the Midlands, USCs Dance Marathon, B106.7FM Childrens Hospital Radiothon and other events raising money for the hospital.
Keldon is empowered by his family, his faith and his past experience, said Dr. Ronnie W. Neuberg, medical director of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Palmetto Health Childrens Hospital. Making it through his cancer treatments has shown Keldon that the inner strength provided by family and faith will allow him to overcome future challenges.
Keldon was the guest of honor during a Thursday celebration in downtown Columbia.
Childrens Miracle Network Hospitals raises funds and awareness for 170 member hospitals, which provide 32 million treatments each year to children across the United States and Canada, including Palmetto Health Childrens Hospital. Donations stay in the local areas to fund critical treatments and health care services, pediatric medical equipment and charitable care. Since 1983, Childrens Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $4.7 billion.
Palmetto Health Childrens Hospital treats more than 80,000 sick and injured children in South Carolina annually in its inpatient and outpatient facilities.
To learn more about Childrens Miracle Network hospitals, visit cmnhospitals.org.