Kanen Michael Keating-Wear passed away in 2019 after a battle with Ewing Sarcoma
Cape May Court House, NJ – World Kindness Day takes one day out of the year to convey how important it is to show kindness and compassion to those around the world each and every day. While Nov. 13 brings communities together internationally, for Middle Township Elementary #2 (MTE2), it brought them even closer just within their walls.
During the day’s events, students worked on projects and activities to bring light and color to World Kindness Day, but it was a special presentation that really encompassed what the day represents. MTE2’s fifth grade received a visit and reading from Lauren Keating-Wear, who lost her son Kanen after his battle with Ewing Sarcoma just after his twelfth birthday. Kanen was and will forever be a member of the Middle Township School District Family. Lauren has made it her mission, along with the rest of their family, to live life through Kanen’s eyes with kindness and love. When he was 11, with the help of his parents and younger sister Kinley, he illustrated and published his book, HurriKanen Fights Back as an important reminder to all those battling with cancer you can also stand up to a formidable enemy, but also continue to spread unconditional love. Lauren shared the book during her presentation with students and staff for the first time at MTE2. Mrs. Robinson and Mr. Mallon’s fourth-grade classes also received this special visit.
World Kindness Day was the perfect time to talk to students about Kanen’s journey with cancer, and how he continued to bring happiness into the lives of others and project his hope and joy even during his battle with the disease. While in treatment, Kanen and his mother started a foundation that helped kids fight for their lives. Through Kanen and his mother’s efforts, these children had presents on every holiday; Easter baskets, Halloween candy, and something to do on the 4th of July when kids were stuck in the hospital, just like he once was. This was how HurriKanen’s Kids was born.
“I remember the day Kanen’s mom registered him at Elementary #1,” said MTE2 Principal Nancy Loteck. “Kanen was such a special child and having his book to remind us of his story is a wonderful way for all of us at #2 who worked with him, to keep him in our hearts and help spread his message.”
“We are so grateful to have Lauren come back and speak to our students,” said MTE2 Assistant Principal Carrie Sinone. “I didn’t have the opportunity to know him, but I know the loss of Kanen hit our school community very hard and, even more so, his loved ones. His family’s ability to share his message with others as amazing. He continues to teach others about unconditional love, courage, giving back, and compassion through his book and their fond memories.”
At the end of each year, MTE2 fifth grade classes give a Kindness Award during their awards assembly. Three students are chosen and presented with a copy of Kanen’s book. Kanen was able to sign each book the first year the award was given out.
HurriKanen’s Kids is organized exclusively for charitable, scientific and educational purposes in order to enrich the lives of families affected by pediatric cancer with a goal of eradicating it. The Hurrikanen’s Kids five-year strategic plan aims to be able to expand support to families nationwide and contribute to medical and holistic treatment research.
To learn more about how to get involved with HurriKanen’s Kids, go to www.hurrikanenskids.com/. If you would like to purchase a copy of “HurriKanen Fights Back,” it is available on Amazon and all proceeds support HurriKanen’s Kids.