Illinois nonprofit rides 12,000 miles to raise money for University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 4:54 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A group out of St. Charles, Illinois has started a partnership with the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, in hopes of raising money for childhood cancer research.

“Cal’s Angels” was raising money through a fundraiser they call “War on Wheels.” The 12,000 mile trip from Mt. Rushmore back home took them to the Iowa-Penn State game, where they tailgated and raised money.

“Iowa is the first hospital we have partnered with outside of the Chicagoland area,” said Co-Founder Stacey Wahlberg. “They’ve accepted us with open arms.”

The nonprofit has been around for 14-years. They wanted to raise $250,000 for cancer research.

“It’s a grueling process,” Vice Chair Brad Beetham said. “Cancer ravishes your body, it ravages your mind; the damage it does to a family, it doesn’t stop at anything.”

On Sunday, the nonprofit met with staff, handed out bags to the children, and gave away a wish grant before continuing the ride back to the Northwest suburbs. Childhood cancer was something Wahlberg and Beetham know all too well.

“My step-son passed away from cancer when he was 13,” said Wahlberg.

“My daughter survived, but just knowing the pain all of those children and families go through is why we can make this two-week-long trip. We can endure the wind, rain, and elements because it’s what the kids have to go through when battling cancer.”

The Wahlbergs say they hope the ride leads to more strides in childhood cancer research.

“We want to be able to take the drugs that are given to adults and have them scaled back for children,” said Beetham. “What we have done is poison to beat cancer. We need to know what the long-term effects will be and how it would change their lives.”

Copyright 2021 KCRG. All rights reserved.