Children battling cancer get encouragement from Cove beauty queen
By WENDY SLEDD
Special to Leader-Press
The box was too heavy for her to get out of the car, but the medals that filled it were not too many for the little beauty queen to count. There were 514 to be exact. For the reigning Little Miss Copperas Cove Five Hills Kadence Coombs, that equates to more than 500 children just like her to which she can bring happiness and encourage to stay strong in their fight against cancer.
Kadence, 5, began her community service project, Bling for Bravery, immediately after she was crowned in May, 2017. No stranger to the pageant scene having served as the former Wee Little Miss titleholder, Kadence used the sparkle of the crown to draw awareness to a cause she thought was important—children being treated for cancer at the Texas Children’s Cancer Hospital in Houston.
Kadence’s chosen charity is the Snowdrop Foundation which collects and donates neck medals which are put on new neck ribbons and given to children who are battling cancer to encourage them to keep fighting and finish the race.
“Being able to help other children and help them stay strong and finish the race is important to me,” Kadence said. “I hope these medal donations help these fighters to feel happy and loved.”
The Williams/Ledger Elementary kindergartener has danced at GymKix for four years and taken gymnastics at the facility for three years. As she traveled to different cities to competitions this year, she set up baskets at dance studios along the way asking other dancers and gymnasts to drop in medals they had won but no longer needed, sharing how the medals would be repurposed to encourage very sick children. Throughout the year, the medals poured in until the 5-year-old had collected more than 500 medals for the children whose lives she hopes to save.
Larry DeSpain of the Snowdrop foundation met with Kadence at the Texas Children’s Hospital on Tuesday and explained to her exactly how she was helping kids right there in that hospital.
“Bling for Bravery is a program developed through the Snowdrop Foundation to celebrate and reward the bravery of the pediatric cancer patients at Texas Children’s Cancer Hospital,” DeSpain said. “The mission is to distribute finishers’ medals from races to the children at the hospital to recognize and celebrate their bravery in dealing with cancer. The common thread of dedication and bravery of training for races is mirrored by the patients at the hospital.”
DeSpain gave Kadence a T-shirt and blanket, thanking her for her donation of 514 medals.
“I am so excited to finally be able to give these medals and know that I helped to put a smile on someone’s face with them,” she said.
Kadence crowns her successor, the new Little Miss Copperas Cove Five Hills, on March 24th at the Copperas Cove Civic Center.