A Berrien County mom is about to walk 155 miles across Michigan to raise money for cancer. She lost her 24-year-old son to leukemia and lymphoma and now hopes to help others fight the disease.
"This is him playing soccer. He was number 5. That was his favorite number," says Mindy Flowers-Daisy as she looks at pictures of her son taken before he was diagnosed with cancer, "look at him, he just looks like the picture of health."
It has been two years since her son passed away.
"How do you go from looking like that, to looking like this," Daisy says as she now holds a picture from 2010 taken just months before he passed away, "it is just mind boggling."
Daisy refuses to forget her son, Kory Daisy's, brave battle.
At 21-years-old, on October 10th, 2007 Kory was diagnosed with Lukemia. He fought the disease bravely but relapsed exactly one year later October 10th, 2008. Then, after another year, he relapsed again. On August 20th, 2010, after a three-year battle with leukemia and then lymphoma, he passed away at the age of 24.
"I told the doctors, there are some things that I need as the mom. I need to know he is not in pain. I need to know he is not going to gasp for air and, I said, I held him coming into this world, I want to hold him going out," recalls Daisy through tears, "They made all my wishes come true. So I got to hold him in bed as he passed."
Now Daisy is rebuilding her life emotionally and financially. Self employed, she wasn't able to work throughout the three years she was caring for Kory. It was tough and sometimes they could barely afford to eat. But Daisy says they were lucky. So many of the other young adults in the hospital alongside Kory didn't have the family support they enjoyed in each other.
"We decided when he got better, we were going to find a way to help out. With him passing it didn't work out for him to be here, but he is here in spirit," says Daisy.
And he will be with her on Friday as she makes another tough journey -- walking 155 miles to raise money and awareness for her new non profit: Pennies from Heaven. Her mission is to help young adults battling cancer with the expenses insurance doesn't cover like gas and healthy meals.
Daisy decided to name the group "Pennies from Heaven" because throughout Kory's three-year battle they would often find pennies -- sometimes in bizarre locations like on a toilet seat. Daisy and Kory clung to the inscription on the pennies: "In God we Trust."
Daisy's walk begins Monday morning. She will walk from his grave in St. Joseph at Hickory Bluff Cemetery, to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor where where he battled cancer. She plans to finish the walk on October 10th -- the anniversary of Kory's diagnosis and two relapses.
"That is why I needed October to have something good happen," says Daisy.
It will be an emotional journey, but Daisy knows, Kory will be with her every step of the way.
So far, Mindy has raised over $1,000. Donations can be made at any Honor Credit Union or checks payable to "Pennies from Heaven" may be mailed to:
4059 Woodland Ln
St. Joseph, MI
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