Grace Skief, forever 11, laid down her battle with D.I.P.G., a brain stem cancer on July 31, 2015 after a short, but brutal battle of 3 months. She is remembered as generous, silly, encouraging, talented at cooking, a friend to little ones and critters of all kinds and determined to stand up for what she believes. Grace loves helping others, especially young children and animals. She shared her love for baking with friends and family as a way to show her love for them or to cheer them up. She encouraged others through her words of wisdom like “life is short, you got to get to the point,” and cheered them with her silly sense of humor by making up her own jokes. Even after finding out that she had brain cancer, her concern was for the lonely, sick toddler in the hospital room next to hers. What she wanted most upon leaving the hospital was to throw a party for her friends, but didn’t have any money. She would not allow me to pay for her party. Upon me handing her some money that was donated on her behalf, she gladly took it and bought them gifts. While she was sick, we told her that she could have her first kitten that would live indoors, a new concept at our house. She sang an impromptu song of jubilation, while teasing her 2 older brothers about her new found privilege (she chose the kitten that was the runt of the litter so that she could help take care of it and give it all the love that it needed to survive). Christmas was her favorite time of year in which she would do whatever it took to earn money to buy gifts for those she loved while also creating beautiful packages and delicious baked goods.
As kind hearted as she is, she had a strong sense of justice as well. She had no trouble standing up for what is right even while sick. She threatened to take on another sick child who was bullying a younger one out of a toy and with her wonderful sense of humor said that if he played the “cancer card” she would respond “oh yeah, I have cancer too.” Fortunately, she did not say those things as I’m sure that the bully was having his own struggles that day.
I know that even now all of those things that we miss about her are still true and she continues to make a difference both here and in her new life. It is her determination that inspires me to push myself to fight for justice and it is her love for comforting and encouraging others that spurs us to do the same for those in need.
Grace’s Gift of Love Memorial Grant
This grant is made available to families facing a pediatric brain tumor diagnosis. It is intended to ease the financial burden of uncovered medical treatments to allow them to pursue the best for their child.
Pediatric brain cancer and DIPG in particular are vastly unexposed to the world despite being pushed to the top of the deadliest cancers in children. Due to this lack of awareness, options are extremely limited not only for a cure, but also treatment that is helpful, affordable and accessible. We intend to offer financial assistance to these families that seek uncovered or alternative treatment options in the form of non-income based grants. We will build awareness of this disease through fundraising and an annual DIPG Memorial Christmas tree to honor those fallen heroes as well as a toy drive for a local children’s hospital oncology floor. We will continue to unite with other charities and social workers with similar desires to accomplish these goals.
Go Gray in May for brain cancer awareness
Go Gold Toy Drive
Hug A Family Memorial Tree Tribute Program
For information please visit our Facebook page.
- Kim Skief
Awareness or Memorial Gifts
In exchange for a donation of $20*, we will ship you a t-shirt or memorial candle holder anywhere in the continental U.S. Plus sizes please add $2. To see photos of these items, please visit our Facebook store. After viewing please click the donate button on this page and fill out the “T-Shirt or memorial gift information” field to select color and sizes (if applicable) and quantities you would like of each. Please note that the value of this gift will void your tax deductible receipt.
CharitySmith accepts donations in two ways:
CharitySmith Nonprofit Foundation
13100 Filly Lane
Truckee, CA 96161
The above Memorial Fund is established as a division of Charitysmith Nonprofit Foundation (EIN 87-0636433). All donations are tax deductible in accordance with federal tax law. Receipts for tax purposes are sent via US Mail within two weeks of donation. Please consider asking if your employer participates in a gift-matching program. If so, your donation may be matched by your employer.
For questions regarding your donation or this memorial fund please contact CharitySmith