Brenton J. Krouse was just 11 years old when he succumbed to T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia on June 1, 2009.
The Bushkill Township boy who was "filled with spirit and faith" may have lost his courageous battle, but his parents continue to fight the good fight against childhood cancer.
In April of this year, Louise and Jerry Krouse founded Brenton’s Hope, a non-profit organization that raises two things: childhood cancer awareness and funds for local children and their families who are facing hardships due to a cancer diagnosis.
“The reason we raise funds is to help families in need,” said Louise Krouse, the president of Brenton's Hope. “We want people to be able to focus on their child.”
Whether a local family needs help paying for bills, medications, travel expenses or other unexpected costs, Brenton's Hope wants to help, according to Krouse.
“We were fortunate to have supplemental insurance, but a lot of people don’t have health insurance," Krouse said. "We all have to support each other."
Krouse knows there is a local need for not only money but also support -- as a teacher at Shafer Elementary School, she often hears the stories of children who are facing cancer.
It is the goal of Brenton’s Hope, adds Krouse, to help them.
“I hope that we can grow and reach beyond the Lehigh Valley,” Krouse said. “[Susan G. Komen for the Cure] is so big; we think, 'Wouldn’t it be great if Brenton’s Hope was ever that big?'”
With the moto "Remembering Brenton by helping others" always in mind, two fundraisers are being held to ensure Brenton's Hope does just that:
- A back-to-school fundraiser with Book Sox -- a company that offers "more than just book covers" -- is currently being held. All you have to do is go to www.booksox.com, place your order, and then enter 18064-167 as your promo code before you check out.
- On Saturday, Sept. 24, Brenton's Hope will hold a 5K Dragonfly Run/Walk. The event will start and end at the Nazareth Area Middle School. There is an online registration form on the Brenton's Hope website. The cost is $20 for pre-entry (includes a running shirt), or $25 if you register on the day of the walk (includes a running shirt if available).
In addition to the fundraisers above, according to Krouse, a golf outing is in the works for the spring of 2012. Krouse hopes the run/walk and the golf outing will become annual events.
The Krouse family also has furnished a scholarship in Brenton’s name to a graduating senior from Nazareth Area High School. Since 2009, the $1,500 scholarship has been awarded to a senior who moves on to a technical school or four-year college and takes on a major in the arts or sciences. Krouse hopes to supplement the scholarship further in years to come.
Brenton’s Hope is operated from the Krouse-family home on Robin Drive in Bushkill Township, and is championed by not only Brenton’s parents, but also an executive board of family and friends.