My wife and I started the Grant William Terrell Foundation in honor of our 3.5 year old son, Grant William Terrell, whom passed away on 12/25/2014 from a rare and deadly cancer. With this foundation we hope to make a difference in the lives of those who have and will have their lives turned upside down by childhood cancer by supporting children & families fighting childhood cancer, illness, and other challenging circumstances. The Lord has blessed us with an amazing church family and community that rallied around us and set us up for a long fight financially, emotionally, and spiritually when our 2 year old son was diagnosed with stage IV Rhabdomyosarcoma at the end of August in 2013. This blessing and generosity has motivated us to share the love we have received from our Lord, church family, and small town with others who may not be blessed to live in such a community. When it comes to funding research our main focus will be on research for small round blue cell tumors and branch out as funding allows. When it comes to getting children involved in outdoors our focus will be on those facing childhood cancer, however, we will work with all children fighting cancer, illness, and other challenging circumstances.
Assist displaced patients and families that must commute long distances with transportation cost: Without the generosity of our community we could not afford the weekly (some weeks daily) travel to Scottish Rite as it is just over a 90 mile commute one way thus this is an area we would like to help others with.
Provide weekly meals for the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Scottish Rite: There are several foundations that provide meals to the Aflac Hall at Scottish Rite such as CURE Childhood Cancer providing two meals a week and the Amanda Riley Foundation (Amanda was a teenager whom lost her battle with Rhabdomyosarcoma) providing lunch every Monday. We found that this is one of the greatest blessings one can have when at the hospital during treatment as there is typically so much going on that you don’t get time to order food until late and the cost adds up quickly even if just ordering from the hospital cafeteria. It would be great if there was enough foundations doing this that a meal was provided on the hall every day of the week to assist families. We would like to be able to expand to other hospitals as the foundation grows.
Provide care packages for families: To brighten and lift spirts of families fighting childhood cancer. Assist families with financial support for unforeseen expenses that occur due to battling childhood cancer: Without our church family we would be in bankruptcy due to the expenses occurred while fighting our son’s illness.
Work hand in hand with other foundations and organizations: such as The Amanda Riley Foundation, Granting Grace Foundation for Childhood Cancer, The Scarborough & Friends Foundation, Rally Foundation, Ride to Give, CURE Childhood Cancer and many more quality organizations with a common ground as the Grant William Terrell Foundation.
Share with other families how the Lord lifted us and carried us thru our trials and tribulations of battling childhood cancer.
Breed and train therapy dogs ie. Golden Retrievers: We have seen firsthand how a therapy dog can lift the spirits of a child who is not doing well. We have seen this countless times with our son and other children throughout the Aflac Hall. Seeing how soft and delicate the Golden Retrievers were with him and the other kids we have been drawn to this breed, in fact, a follower of Grant’s page, www.facebook.com/praygrantterrell, purchased a Golden Retriever puppy from a line that has numerous therapy dogs in its pedigree for Grant to have his own therapy dog. We have talked with the breeder about obtaining the breeding rights to this puppy as the breeder typically retains breeding rights. We would like to be able to sale trained therapy dogs and untrained dogs to the public to fund donating puppies to families battling childhood cancer that are capable of taking adequate care of them.
Team with various children based outdoor foundations to help make dreams come true for those with a love of the outdoors: The outdoors is our passion and we passed that passion on to Grant from watching deer and birds in the backyard, fishing, and hiking and playing in the woods. We would like to help other children see their outdoor related dreams come true. On this regard we would focus primarily on childhood cancer patients but like the thought of helping any critical or terminally ill child.
The items listed above are our main goals and focus however if/as funding allows we would also like to do the following as well:
Help do small home and/or yard renovations for cancer patients in need: Our property is a sloping property and Grant’s mobility was severely impacted and he became trapped inside because he was not able to play in our steep yard or go to the local parks due to his weakened immune system. Several church members and business owners in our community came together and gave Grant a flat back yard to play in by taking down a 20’ hill behind the house so that he could enjoy the warm summer days outside playing in his yard. This could include GWT funding the projects to hire contractors and/or purchasing some heavy equipment to use as needed by the foundation.
Fund research for childhood cancer: Childhood cancer is severely underfunded thus we would like to help find a cure so that other families do not have to endure what we have. Ultimately we would like to raise $10’s to $100’s of millions to fund research across the nation to help find better treatment and/or a cure for childhood cancer.
Purchase or lease a large property to:
Provide horseback riding/golf cart & UTV/hiking trials: As a family struggling with childhood cancer there are many family activities that we miss out on due to time constraints thus providing a place that families can come to and enjoy the outdoors at their own pace with no pressure for schedules will help families be able to truly unwind and decompress. For example, a family that goes to Disney World for their Make-A-Wish trip has so much to do in so little time that it can create quite a deal of stress. Our goal here is providing a place of leisure where families can come and enjoy outdoor activities with minimal stress.
Provide childhood cancer patients and their family’s easy access to quality fishing.
Build cabins for families, which travel a distance, to stay in.
Work with medical equipment companies to make equipment available for traveling families, such as Care Medical in Athens which was the provider of equipment to our son and was very responsive to his needs.
Team with Camp Sunshine to have camps for cancer patients on the property.
Team with DNR to do annual or semiannual educational programs on the property to give back to the community.
Allow families that are struggling with the loss of a family member to cancer to have a place they can go to cope. We would like to open this up not only childhood cancer patients but for families that have lost a child to cancer and to families with children that have lost an immediate family member to cancer such as a parent.
How/Labor for the large property:
The property we have in mind is a 1,000 acre fenced and crossed fenced farm that we could run a cattle operation on the property to provide funding for all needs of the property and initial fundraisingas a rough guestimate the property should generate $500,000 to $600,000 in gross sales of cattle per year at current market prices. Funding the property, its activities, and the initial goals through the cattle operation would allow most all fundraising to go to childhood cancer research.
Work with UGA Agriculture Department and local farmers to manage and build proper herd density, breeding programing, and logistics for the cattle operation of the property to maximize cash flow and minimizing expenses while not over grazing the property thus, allowing the land to remain pristine in appearance for an aesthetic appeal for guest.
Team with UGA’s veterinarian program for advice and interns to help with the therapy dog training, breeding, and care.
Use interns and volunteers to assist families on the property while fishing, horseback riding, golf cart/utv riding, and hiking.
Have one or two child-life specialist on hand to assist families as needed.
Use volunteers from local churches and the community as a whole to build the cabins.
Seek donations from local business and national business for supplies to build the cabins and in return give them recognition for their generosity.
Hire cleaning companies to thoroughly clean cabins from top to bottom to help keep from spreading illnesses as cancer patients have severely weakened immune systems.
Our son is a recently deceased cancer patient and the generosity of our Church family and community has motivated us to give back to others in a similar situation that may not have the same support system. Childhood cancer is severely underfunded for example American Cancer Society only allots ~3% of funds to childhood cancer and the National Cancer institute, which is government funded, allots ~4% of its funds to childhood cancer. We have heard many families associated with childhood cancer complain and protest involvement with fundraisers such as Relay for Life because of low funding to childhood cancers however, we have embraced these fundraisers as the funds raised have, do, and will continue help numerous families in our community thru assistance and research. We have also decided that instead of complaining, protesting, or calling for change at these other organizations that it is best to help fix the problem by founding the GWT Foundation to do all the things mentioned above and to provide funds for childhood cancer research. Through our battle with childhood cancer we have been pulled a part and dealt with many lengthy separations due to treatments and/or complications from treatment thus we would like to give other families a place they can spend quality time with each other at no cost when treatment schedule allows to help make up for lost time thus our motivation for wanting to raise funds to purchase or lease a large property.
GWT will seek funding thru donations, fundraisers, merchandise sales, and thru cattle sales (if we are able to obtain funding for a large property to purchase or lease).
Steven & Mori Terrell
Grant William Terrell FoundationPO Box 336
Franklin Springs, Ga 30639