There’s the family we’re born with and then there is the family we make along the way. And that’s what it was like for Tammy, the director of Bags of Fun Denver, and Louisa, the director of Bags of Fun Kansas City.
Louisa met Tammy in college. Over the years, they went from sorority sisters to real sisters. They worked out together, shared carpools, and raised their kids side by side. As time went on, they both moved around the country but remained “in each other’s pockets” as they like to say. Gabby and her brothers and sisters were as dear to Louisa as her own kids.
Gabby’s diagnosis devastated Louisa and her family. They were honored to send surprises that could be included in Gabby’s first “bag of fun.”
When Gabby passed, Louisa’s family had a heart to fulfill Gabby’s wish. A wish that every child at the hospital could have their very own bag of fun. Louisa’s family was happy to make the trek to be part of the first Bring Out the Bags event in Denver.
Fast forward a few years to when Lousia’s older daughters were in high school and needed to do a senior service project, they both went to Denver to learn about Bags of Fun and help raise money and awareness.
When two families in the Kansas City community had to have their bags of fun shipped from Denver, Louisa’s family started discussing what it would take to expand Bags of Fun to a new city.
Since then Bag’s of Fun Kansas City has delivered over 1700 bags to children fighting life threatening conditions, and to think it all started with a house party and a pancake breakfast 11 years ago. In those 11 years, they have been honored to make Bags of Fun a huge part of the Kansas City Community.
Bags of Fun Kansas City works closely with staff at:
- The University of Kansas Medical Center
- Children’s Mercy in Kansas City
- Stormont Vail in Topeka
- Mercy Kids and Cox Medical in Springfield.
By working with these medical organizations, they have been able to increase the pediatric populations they serve each year since 2011. As of 2021, Bags of Fun KC delivers to 14 different pediatric diagnoses.
They partner with BrooksideToy and Science and the Learning Tree to ensure that each bag of fun is full of high-quality, award winning toys from a local store. This helps their clients not only feel special but at home.
As Bags of Fun KC has expanded and grown Gabby’s legacy over the years, they remain grateful for those very first friends and families who supported and helped them honor the memories of that beautiful giggly girl.
The mission of Bags of Fun Kansas City is to make a difference in the lives of children and their families who are faced with fighting cancer and other long-term childhood diseases.
Bags of Fun Kansas City is a network of caring people who want to make a difference in the lives of children with cancer and other long-term childhood illnesses. The signature project of the foundation is Bags of Fun.
Bags of Fun are filled with educational, interactive, and silly toys that give a child a better day, a smile, and something to focus on other than their illness. To parents carrying a heavy burden, the bags bring relief, joy, and a sense that someone understands.
Bags of Fun Kansas City’s goal is to continue Gabby’s legacy of smiles and zest for life by delivering Bags of Fun to pediatric patients undergoing cancer treatment, kidney dialysis and heart, liver and kidney transplants.
Gabby Krause was an amazing six-year old who died in September 2004 after a courageous 19-month battle with brain cancer.
Gabby loved purple, swimming, and coke-flavored slurpees. She sang, danced and laughed her way through chemotherapy. She found the silly in everything! It is in her memory that the Gabby Krause Foundation was started, and in her spirit that the Bags of Fun program began. Gabby had the original Bag of Fun filled with toys and fun activities when she was battling her brain cancer. Her bag helped keep her busy and happy during long hospital visits. To the delight of other patients, she always shared her games and toys.
It was Gabby’s wish that every child at the hospital could have their very own Bag of Fun.
Bags of Fun Kansas City was started because of this special wish, and Bags of Fun was created in the spirit of Gabby’s original bag of toys and fun activities that kept her going throughout chemotherapy.