Family fights cancer with help from the Children’s Miracle Network


TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Tinley is enjoying a summer of fun, friends and fairy hunting.

Oskaloosa’s five-year-old was even on the hunt for the elusive magical beings during a visit to Stormont Vail’s backyard.

Her mother, Tia Benyshek, says their journey began on New Years Eve 2019.

“She complained of an upset stomach, but more seriously than most kids would complain of an upset stomach,” Tia said.

This stomach ache led to a trip to the emergency room in Stormont Vail and a diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

“(It was) heartbreaking,” Tia said. “It was just one of those things you never expect. Unfortunately, you think of (a cancer diagnosis) with adults. It never really occurs to us with children; and then when it’s your own child, you think of all the things that you might miss for the rest of their life and what they would miss.

Family life suddenly filled with treatment and hospital visits. Their care team in Stormont included two specialists in the child’s life. This is one of the programs supported by Stormont’s affiliation as the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.

“When you’re a kid, everything is magnified – that uncertainty. So these child life specialists really help them deal with these times on an emotional, mental, spiritual and not just physical level,” said Hannah Maddy, CMN Program Manager at Stormont.

The MCN is supported by local fundraisers. Maddy said that right now, WalMart stores in the area allow customers to donate at checkout.

“They can round up. They can donate a dollar. They can donate any amount, and all of that money goes right here to help children in local communities, ”Maddy said.

The Child Life Specialists were the perfect remedy for Tinley. They also made sure her younger brother Tripp didn’t feel left out, by giving him stuffed animals.

“They give her all these fun little games and activities, which makes her less scary when she walks in,” Tia said.

Sprinkle some fairy dust on it and Tinley heads off to a magical future.

“The outlook is really encouraging and really good,” Tia said. “She is currently able to take gymnastics, t-ball and swimming lessons. We hope she lives a long life and can do everything she ever dreamed of. “

MCN also supports the Stormont Breastfeeding Clinic and helps purchase special equipment for pediatric patients.

Walmart’s donation campaign runs through July 25. The Sam’s Club on Wanamaker is organizing an evening cruise for the benefit of the CMN. It starts at 6 p.m. on Sunday July 18.

Also mark in your calendars Thursday, July 22, when most Dairy Queens in the Topeka area will donate a portion of your blizzard purchases to CMN.

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