Little Ones Hunt For A Cure In Forest Park


ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-Kids hunted for Easter eggs Saturday and helped Hunt for A Cure to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. As families watched and happily yelled, “East-er Bun-ny,” over and over again, a helicopter’s blades buzzed through the air.  It landed.  The blades stopped.   A few minutes passed.  Then, parents yelled.

“Here he is!”

Kids got to see the Easter Bunny hop out of a Kids Flight medical helicopter from the roof of Children’s Hospital.  He flew across Kingshighway Boulevard to Forest Park.  There, UPS volunteers hid 55,000 colored eggs donated by 55 senior centers.  Kids enjoyed all of this for just five dollars a family.

“We do have some volunteers that we need to thank,” FOX 2’s Tom O’Neal, the event emcee, laughed nervously. Egg hunters would have to wait.

Blood cancer took the life of Brandon O’Neal, Tom O’Neal’s son.

“You look out there,” he said.  “And you see those little faces.  And they’re like, ‘Okay when is this over, so we can hunt some eggs!'”

Little ones finally did get to go on the hunt.  Everyone was invited, especially little survivors.

“It actually gives them a chance to be a kid,” said Lisa Tong, a volunteer from Alpha Phi Omega, and a bio-premed student at Saint Louis University.  “They get out the hospital setting and around other kids and interact with them, kind of be normal.  They’re not different or anything like that, just because they have cancer.”

O’Neal remembered the day his 12-year-old son Brandon began his own fight with leukemia.

“He died when he was 17,” he said.  “So, it has kind of been my mission to carry on his battle because he was so tough.”

O’Neal said the event was also for parents grateful to be watching their kids go on yet another Easter-egg hunt.

“And also making a statement that they want to help others that might be going through the same thing that they’ve had to face,” O’Neal explained.

Website: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Gateway Chapter

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