Most 11-year-olds look forward to the pile of gifts they will receive at every birthday.
Not so for Grace Frazier, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Christopher Frazier of Kendallville.
When Grace was planning her most recent birthday party, she and her mom came up with the idea that she should pick a charity for her friends to bring presents to instead of bringing presents to Grace. “My Mom was kind of getting on me about how much stuff I have,” Grace said. “So we thought it would be good if I picked a charity. I picked Kate’s Kart because I had heard about it when my sister Mikayla was sick.”
Grace’s younger sister, Mikayla, was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2007 and required numerous chemotherapy treatments and several surgeries. Although Mikayla is a healthy nine-year-old now, the course of her treatments and surgeries left an impression on her older sister. “She was always happy to get a new book from Kate’s Kart when she went in for chemo. I think having the new books made the chemo a little easier for her to take,” Grace added.
Kate’s Kart is a not-for-profit organization, founded by Andrew and Krista Layman, who turned their grief after losing their daughter, Katherine Anne (Kate) Layman, at the age of 18 months into a mission to help other children. During numerous hospital stays for a serious heart and pulmonary condition, Baby Kate loved to look at books and have books read to her.
In honor of Kate, and her love of books, the Layman’s decided to start a rolling book cart in the pediatric unit of a Fort Wayne hospital. The cart was filled with new books, and children were able to select a book from the cart to keep. The program has expanded from the original hospital to include 14 hospitals in northeast Indiana and will be adding three additional hospitals in the near future. Kate’s Kart has been at Parkview Noble since January of 2009.
Grace invited nine friends, plus her sister, to her party, which was actually held last month. The birthday party attendees presented 48 books to Grace for Kate’s Kart. Several of them came to Parkview Noble recently when Grace officially gave the books to the hospital’s Kate’s Kart. Krista Layman, Baby Kate’s mother, who founded and coordinates Kate’s Kart, came to Parkview Noble for the presentation.
Grace said she loves to read and she thought adding to the Kate’s Kart at Parkview Noble Hospital would provide children in the hospital the opportunity to read too.