Lexington girl's legacy fuels fight against pediatric cancer

Lexington girl's legacy fuels fight against pediatric cancer

LEXINGTON, SC (WIS) - Four-year-old Kaylin Zimms passed away after a battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in late August 2016, but her legacy is living on and fueling the fight against pediatric cancer.

"Kaylin just loved to help people even when she was at her sickest point," said Kaylin's mom, Suzanne Kruse.

RELATED: See the photos of Kaylin's young life and battle with cancer.

"Kaylin had such a spirit of love like I've never seen before," added Kaylin's grandmother, Mary Kruse.

It's Kay's love that inspired not only Kick It, Kaylin, but a recently sculpted Memorial Garden at her former pre-school Providence Lutheran in Lexington. We met Kaylin's mom Suzanne at the garden as she was seeing it for the first time.

"The owls, the owls are definitely Kaylin," said Suzanne pointing around to the different owl planters. "Everything is just the color of Kaylin in this

Kaylin's favorite color purple not only fills the garden but is the signature color for the nonprofit that now lives in her honor.

"The community came together and did so much for her," said Kaylin's grandmother Mary Kruse. "So we took the remaining funds from that and her mom and dad wanted to help other children and families that were battling cancer and blood disorders and give them some help and peace."

Suzanne said through Kick It, Kaylin she wants to help families with the many expenses that add up, as well as the unthinkable: end-of-life.

"I know with us, it was, we wanted to spend time with our child and not have to be making plans," said Suzanne. "So we want to try to create an organization that allows us to help other people so they can do what they need to do and spend time with their children instead of worrying about the financials."

They'll launch those fundraising efforts with the second Kaylin Zimms' Walk to End Leukemia. It will be the first walk with Kick it, Kaylin as an official
nonprofit, and the first without Kay.

"I want this walk to be a celebration of Kaylin's life," said Suzanne. "I also want them to leave with awareness of what's going on in the childhood cancer
world. It's the blink of an eye and it happens so fast. I think it's going to be a really good opportunity for us to bring everyone together and celebrate her love."

And there's no question Kay's love and legacy will live on "owl" ways.

"Life is so precious," said Mary. "We know where Kaylin is now and she's out of pain, she's fine, but we miss her so much. I'd really like for people to walk away from that walk just feeling a presence that they need to treasure and love and treat people they love like it's their last because we never know."

The 2017 Kaylin Zimms Walk to End Leukemia will be Saturday, May 13th at Saluda Shoals Park from 9am-1pm. There will be food by Smokin' Coals Barbecue, visits with super heroes, a raffle, and music by BC Villanova and his Amazing Friends. Walk ticket includes entrance to the walk and signature walk t-shirt. Food tickets and raffle tickets will be available the day of the walk.

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