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Cake, ice cream and a fundraiser, too!

Cake, ice cream and a fundraiser, too!

Parents Bill and Jill honor the memory of their son with an annual birthday party benefitting Children’s Mercy 


When their 2-year-old son Cade was diagnosed with an aggressive and difficult to treat form of brain cancer, Bill, Jill and their family began a 2-year journey to try to beat cancer. In that time, Cade received chemotherapy, radiation treatments, stem-cell transplants and more. Sadly, Cade lost his battle with cancer just before his 4th birthday.

After losing their son, Bill and Jill began to search for ways to remember Cade and give back to Children’s Mercy. “The Child Life Department at Children’s Mercy was so important during Cade’s hospital stays. They provided toys, games, movies, and activities that he really enjoyed. From music therapy and Pet Pals to craft activities and staff members decorating his room in Thomas the Train, the Child Life staff truly made a difference.” 

Then, it clicked. A birthday party. In 2009, the Filers hosted the first Cade Filer Birthday Celebration complete with games, cake and ice cream. They invited friends and family and asked them to bring new toys to donate to the hospital.  

Over the years, the birthday party has become a powerful tribute to Cade’s memory and an amazing fundraiser for a cause close to the Filer family’s heart. The annual event is now a staple in Harrisonville, MO., bringing together hundreds of community members each year to celebrate Cade’s life and support families on similar journeys at Children’s Mercy. Proceeds from the event ensure that children receiving cancer treatment will always have the support of the Child Life team who made such a big difference in Cade’s life. 

Love powers advanced medicine and makes our communities healthier. Support Children’s Mercy with your own fundraiser and your love will make a difference for patients and families!