Sacramento, CA — Hope spreads faster than cancer – that was the lesson ten-year-old Konnor Davis taught the corporate world after his big sister was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 28.
Kelli Davis, a Field Marketing Manager for Round Table Pizza, was enjoying a successful career in the vibrancy of her youth.  One evening while on a business trip, she felt a pain in her arm.  A few hours later, she sat in stunned silence as the doctor said, “you have cancer.”
Kelli was diagnosed with a rare form of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphoid tissue.
“At 28 you don’t expect to get sick,” says Kelli.  “I had played soccer just a few days earlier.”
And at 10, her little brother, Konnor, didn’t expect to face the harsh reality of an ailing sibling.
“We didn’t hide anything from him,” explains Kelli.  “I had to move back home and he had to share his room with me.  He was there when the chemo made me sick in the middle of the night.  The cancer took over his life.”
Though the cancer had invaded his sister’s body, his bedroom, and his life, Konnor didn’t allow it to invade his spirit:  “Konnor had a sense of humor through it all.  We were able to see a serious disease through innocent eyes,” says an admiring big sis.
Kelli battled through six rounds of chemo and 26 rounds of radiation and was bedridden on and off for seven months.  But as her health ebbed and flowed with the cycles of treatment, she insisted on going to work whenever possible.
“Working gave me a sense of normalcy, something to focus on other than my cancer,” recalls Kelli.  “My family wanted to do something to thank my bosses Rob [McCourt] and Cindy [Kirk] for all their support and for accommodating my illness.”
But what do you get a corporate president and a marketing director to say thanks?  Konnor had a plan…
“We came up with the idea to sell balloons,” explains Konnor, shying away from the credit.
Each year, Round Table Pizza holds a balloon fundraiser to support Children’s Miracle Network, an alliance of children’s hospitals throughout the United States.  Paper balloons are sold at participating Round Table restaurants for $1 during the month of April.
“We knew participating in the Round Table Pizza fundraiser and raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network would mean more to Rob and Cindy than any gift we could have bought,” proclaims the duo.
Konnor didn’t just talk big, he walked even bigger.  He hit the pavement, knocking on doors and working the neighborhood for donations. He sent cards to friends and family, rolled coins, took the money to the bank and wrote thank you letters to everyone who donated.
“This was his project and he did all the work,” says Kelli.  “He had incredible motivation for a ten-year-old.  He was able to go up to people and ask for a dollar because he knew why he was doing it.”
After a month of hard work, Konnor presented Round Table Pizza President Rob McCourt and Field Marketing Director Cindy Kirk with a paper balloon he bought for $2,129.
“It was truly uplifting to see what a fifth grader was able to accomplish and the love his family has for each other,” says McCourt. “I could clearly see that Konnor did this because he wanted to make a difference and support his sister.”
“We were floored,” says Kirk, who worked closely with Kelli during her illness. “We could not believe that a ten-year-old could do something like that.  He was very unassuming.”
Kelli completed a successful treatment the Monday after Konnor presented his gift.
“Because of my sister, I know how important it is to help people,” explains Konnor.  He says he hopes he can inspire people to give more money to cancer research, so that doctors will be able to study rare cancers as well as the common ones.
“He’s a small kid with a big heart.  Raising money was his idea and it began with Konnor donating the first $5.  I think he will continue to be motivated and give in the future.  Someday he will do something very special,” beams Kelli at her little brother.
To the children who will receive treatment thanks to Konnor’s efforts, he already has.
To buy a paper balloon and contribute to Children’s Miracle Network, visit a participating Round Table Pizza restaurant during the month of April.  No purchase necessary.
About Children’s Miracle Network
Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) is an alliance of premier children’s hospitals.  Every year, CMN hospitals treat 17 million children for disease and injury.  CMN hospitals provide state-of-the-art care, life-saving research and preventative education for children 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  There is a CMN hospital dedicated to serving children in every community across the Unite States and Canada.
About Round Table Family Charities
Round Table Family Charities is a non-profit public benefit corporation that supports efforts to aid families in crisis.  The organization focuses on health, security and nourishment and works with groups that help children with medical challenges and provide secure lodging and food to struggling families.

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