A simple, hand-written note from Coltrane’s family expressed gratitude for a fun day. Life hadn’t been much fun for Coltrane since he was diagnosed with cancer, but on this day a respite in the form of a Christmas party by employees of American Farmers & Ranchers, brought joy to the 2-year old.
Coltrane and his family were guests of The Toby Keith Foundation’s OK Kids Korral, a cost-free home away from home for pediatric cancer patients receiving treatment in Oklahoma City.
Opened in January, 2014, OK Kids Korral is located near the OU Children’s Hospital. It is the single focus of the Toby Keith Foundation.
The idea for the 25,000 sq. foot home sprouted from an experience of a band member’s family whose young child was stricken with cancer.
“We accept anyone from newborn to 18 years of age, receiving treatment for cancer,” said Juliet Nees-Bright, executive director of The Toby Keith Foundation. “As long as the child needs us, we will be here to help them.”
With 16 rooms, OK Kids Korral operates at about 80 percent occupancy.
“The number of families we serve has doubled since we opened.” Nees-Bright said. “Oklahoma is a rural state and many families have to drive long distances for treatment. “Our goal is to provide a service to as many families as possible.”