The courage and bravery found in a child battling cancer never ceases to amaze me… and eleven-year-old Amarah Kendall simply exemplifies that courage and bravery. I met young Amarah and her family at the Nisqually Bar and Grill in Olympia, WA on September 8th, the morning of the run that was named in her honor.
As I was being led to the table where she was seated, a prayer circle had formed around her by members of a few Christian riding groups that were attending her ride. Family and other riders joined in as different members offered prayers in support of Amarah’s battle against cancer and her upcoming surgery.
Following the prayer, I was introduced to Amarah, her brother Valek, her father Josh, and her mother Rachael. Rachael Kendall works with Miles ‘Stick’ Stickler, a member of the Society’s Deviants MC, a local motorcycle club. It was that connection through which the Society’s Deviants MC Run for Amarah was born.
Amarah was diagnosed earlier this year with clear cell sarcoma, and had a large tumor in her upper thigh. The news was devastating especially since clear cell sarcoma is highly resistant to the typical forms of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Her family explained that she was headed in for a major surgery in five days – the day after her twelfth birthday. Can you imagine being twelve years old and fighting a monster called cancer? This little girl is doing just that, and she is doing with an upbeat and optimistic attitude.
The Run for Amarah consisted of five stops around Thurston and Mason counties, and Amarah rode with Stick for more than half of the route, as her energy level improved throughout the day. The run was a fundraiser to help the family with their expenses.
The final stop featured a fun raffle and the awarding of poker hand prizes. Everyone in attendance was more than happy to pose with Amarah for a group picture of a fun day that she, and we, will remember for the rest of our lives. Not only did Amarah make a great impression on all of us, her entire family did too! Her grandparents even tagged along throughout the entire day, stopping and socializing with everyone at each run stop.
Aside from the periods of tears in their eyes from the outpouring of support that day, Amarah and her family never stopped smiling and laughing. The strength of this family in the face of adversity was impressive.
Amarah and her family want to thank the clubs, sponsors, supporters and independents for all of the love and support as she fights cancer! September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month… keep praying and believing that one day a cure will be found.
Just prior to print, I received word from Stick that SDMC’s goal of raising $10,000 for Amarah had been reached. I also received word that her surgery to remove the tumor, but spare the nerves that were intertwined with it, had been a success and Amarah was recovering well.
To see how Amarah’s progress continues and to help, visit ‘Amarah’s Journey’ on Facebook.