The Owen family was shocked when their son Killian, one of a set of twins, was diagnosed with cancer at age 5.
He was active in baseball, basketball, swimming, and more, but the leukemia was quite a challenge for him — and ultimately, one that would take him.
Along the way, doctors and his parents threw everything they could at the disease.
He had acute lymphocytic leukemia, the most common and most curable form of childhood cancer. But in Killian's case, the disease proved resistant to traditional treatments like chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.
When one doctor told them that there was a drug that might save his life, their hopes were soon dashed by the devastating revelation that there was not enough funding available to actually get it to patients like Killian.
When he died at just over 9 years old, it left them reeling, but it also made them realize just how few dollars were available for children's cancer research.
One of Killian's sport coaches didn't want other families to have to decide between money and saving their child's life.
Inspired by the bravery of this young man, one of Killian's coaches asked his players to skip the gift that customarily was given to each coach at the end of the year and instead donate that gift to cancer research in honor of the Owen boy.
The gift from Killian's coach to cancer research inspired the Owen family to create Coaches Curing Kids Cancer a year later.
It has raised well over $7 million to Aflac's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, which has helped fund many research projects throughout the U.S. That's a lot of coaches doing great things.
Coaches Curing Kids Cancer is still active, and here's a short video on how it came to be.
The Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta is also leading the way on helping to end childhood cancer.
So you might ask yourself ... why are there so many organizations trying to raise money to help cure childhood cancer?
It's simple. Less than 4% of federal funding for cancer research is set aside for kids with the disease. Let's change that.