Child patient charity concludes
Each Christmas Eve since 1992, a Lakeway family has remembered their son by giving back to cancer patients at Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas.
Kristopher Medford died of cancer in 1992. He spent many hours in the hospital with his family, but while there over Christmas, he noticed not all children were as lucky. His last wish was for his parents to never forget the sick children.
Mark and Eva Medford and their children, Kevin and Ian, created Kristopher’s Gift, a charity that collects toys and delivers them to sick children who are spending Christmas in the hospital, in order to fulfill that wish.
Last year was the 20th anniversary of Kristopher’s Gift. With the conclusion of that milestone, the Medfords decided to retire the project on that special note.
“It’s been 20 wonderful years, and not that many people still know about Kristopher other than through the church,” Eva Medford said. “We are seeing less and less donations, and I think it’s because it’s been 20 years and those kids that knew Kristopher have all grown up now and are raising kids of their own.”
Lake Travis United Methodist Church and the Lake Travis community each year collect stuffed animals, toys and baked goods.
“Kristopher would see a lot of kids at the hospital that didn’t have their parents with them, and even though he was going through so much he would feel so fortunate because he could see how many other children didn’t have people around,” Eva Medford said. “He wanted to comfort those children that might be by themselves at times, and also provide even the slightest bit of relief to those who were undergoing the grueling treatments he, too, had faced.”
Some businesses, such as the Lakeway Aquatic Therapy Center, collect particular items that they know will be in high demand, while others focus on monetary donations.
Eva Medford and her husband are grateful for the closure they have gained through their charity.
“What happened to Kristopher is something that should never happen, but he touched our lives in so many ways and was able to touch a lot of other people’s lives, too,” she said. “This charity has helped us to heal. You don’t ever forget, but it does get easier.”