Cannonball Kids: Finding options for kids with cancer

Author: Ivanhoe Newswire
Kids holding hands, generic (US Air Force / Nick Daniello via MGN)
(US Air Force / Nick Daniello via MGN)

Leukemia, neuroblastoma, bone cancer and Wilms tumor are just a few of the cancers that can affect children. Some cancers have very effective therapies. Many do not, leaving families with few or no options.

Spencer and Carson King keep their baby brother Nolan close to their heart a memory box has all of his special toys and his favorite cap in one place.

Nolan was diagnosed with stage four hepatoblastoma in 2016. He beat it, but it came back.

“He can’t die, he can’t die,” King said.

Melissa and Michael Wiggins had also been through the pediatric cancer journey. Their son Cannon was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma at just 20 months old.

“Cannon had six rounds of chemotherapy five days per round,” Michael Wiggins, chair of CKc Board of Directors, told Ivanhoe.

Cannon had multiple surgeries and a stem cell transplant. After two-and-a-half years of aggressive treatment, he recently celebrated the five-year anniversary of being cancer-free.

“He went down to 20 pounds, so he was tiny. He’s not now,” Melissa Wiggins, founder of Cannonball Kids Cancer Foundation.

During Cannon’s treatment, the Wiggins learned that of all the federal funding earmarked for cancer research- only four percent goes to pediatric cancer. In the last 20 years, only four new drugs have been designed specifically for use in children.

Wiggins founded Cannonball Kids’ Cancer Foundation to raise awareness and fund research for pediatric cancer treatment. In just four years, they’ve awarded two million dollars and funded 20 different research trials, including one for Nolan’s rare form of the disease.

Despite a tough battle, Nolan passed away just after his third birthday. In memory, his dad had a tattoo of his son’s heartbeat crafted from his ashes and ink. Kelly has a matching one on her arm.

“I wanted to focus on the fact that Nolan lived,” King said.

And help other children diagnosed with cancer do just that live.

A few months after losing Nolan, King joined Cannonball Kids Cancer Foundation as their research director. For more information, go to

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