HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — When 23-year-old Kylie Schwartz heard that her rare cancer was terminal, she had two thoughts of things she wanted to do.
“I said travel and give back,” she told Denver7.
The young woman was diagnosed with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma last November. She’s been through months of chemotherapy and radiation, only to have her cancer return. She is now out of hospice care and living out the rest of her life.
“I really want people to live every day like it’s their last,” she said.
For her, that means a trip to Nashville and to Florida for Christmas. But it also meant designing a t-shirt to sell as a fundraiser. She raised more than $4,000.
“I was astonished we raised that much in 15 days,” she said.
Then, her Highlands Ranch neighborhood decided to get involved by collecting money and hosting fundraisers on Saturday. There will be a “Kartwheels for Kylie” event where every cartwheel is worth twenty-five cents, and “Kookies and Kreme for Kylie”, an ice cream social at the neighborhood’s fall bazaar.
“These are not things for Kylie. These are things to make Kylie’s dreams for others come true,” her mom said.
Money raised from the shirts and the community efforts will go toward buying a therapy dog for patients at Rocky Mountain Children’s Hospital, the place where Kylie received her treatment.
“I think it just calms you and makes you feel at home and you can love on him or her. I would love that,” she said.
While she may not always be there to see it, she knows her community will come through for the next patients in her shoes.
“I think that it really shows there really are good people. It’s hard to find good people nowadays,” Kylie said.
“It’s a legacy that will hopefully live on for a long time,” her mom said.
For more information on the community fundraisers, email Stacie Winslow at StacieWins@comcast.net.