Sometimes, life’s unimaginable curveballs are just what you need to find purpose. Deliece Hofen realized hers after receiving a diagnosis that no parent wants to hear. Her son had cancer…and it has no known cure.
It inspired her to found Braden’s Hope for Childhood Cancer, an organization that benefits childhood cancer research. As its President, Deliece has helped raise more than $4.7 million in funding and recently, it committed to a staggering $10 million more.
I was fortunate to find purpose nearly 30 years ago when I started my sports broadcasting career. It was the only thing I ever dreamed of doing as a kid, and to now get to live it is a privilege I don’t take for granted.
For some, it takes years to find purpose. As a corporate keynote speaker, I draw on years of storytelling experience to help inspire audiences to find their own. It’s something I believe is essential to living a meaningful life.
Whether I’m in front of a camera or standing on a stage, learning and sharing lessons with audiences everyday is a joy. Even if you must make it through the darkness before you find the light.
SINGLE: Against All Odds
When Deliece’s son Braden was diagnosed with Stage IV neuroblastoma, the prognosis was dire. There is known cure for that specific disease, and treatment options for childhood cancers in general are not only antiquated, but rare.
While supporting her son in his battle, Deliece received a cancer diagnosis herself. The care she received during chemotherapy was a stark contrast to her son’s experience. And the glaring inequities were the beginning of a movement.
“I can’t tell you how many times my house was filled with people, sitting at my dining room table, trying to figure out how we were going to get this off and running,” she remembered.
Against all odds, Deliece and Braden both entered remission, and were able to find purpose on their journey.
DOUBLE: Sharing Gratitude
The mission of Braden’s Hope is to help create a world where every childhood cancer has a cure. Great strides have been made, but the goal has not yet been met.
By virtue of position, she continues to witness parents experience the heartbreak of losing their children to cancer. “That has an impact on you,” she said. “The faces of those kids that have fought with us, or the kiddos that have died from cancer and those parents that I know…that ALL fuels everything that we do over here.”
It has given her a profound sense of gratitude. And by encouraging others to find things to be thankful for in their own lives, has helped them to also find purpose, no matter the circumstances they face.
TRIPLE: The Power of Hope
Hope is a powerful tool. When Braden received his diagnosis, every odd was stacked against him. Yet he managed to overcome them all.
His was a journey filled with uncertainty and fear, but throughout it all, Deliece remained hopeful. It carried her through the most difficult of times, and is a reminder to others to never give up.
“There’s Braden’s Hope for Childhood Cancer,” she said in reference to her organizations name, “but then there’s also Braden’s hope, is that life is going to be different for other kids.”
HOME RUN: Small Acts, Big Results
The work being done at Braden’s Hope is tremendous in scale. But even the smallest acts can make an impact.
Deliece recalled attending a youth choir concert one night when a little boy walked over to her. He handed her a crumpled up $20 bill and said that he wanted to help Braden’s Hope. “Immediately, the tears just started flowing,” she said. “He is giving me everything he has.”
It was a gesture worth far more than its dollar value. And a reminder that if you need and feel called to do something, listen. No matter the cause, you have the power to make a difference.
Listen to the full interview here or tune in to Rounding the Bases every Monday and Thursday, available wherever you get your podcasts.
Learn More About How to Find Purpose from Joel
Book Joel Goldberg for your next corporate event. He draws on over 25 years of experience as a sports broadcaster. In addition, he brings unique perspectives and lessons learned from some of the world’s most successful organizations. Whatever your profession, Joel is the keynote speaker who can help your team achieve a championship state of mind.
Joel Goldberg 0:19
Hey everybody welcome in to another episode of Rounding the Bases, the podcast about culture and leadership with a baseball twist presented by Community America Credit Union: Believe in Unbelievable. So happy with my partnership with Community America and just the involvement and the support. And so proud to be involved with an organization a company like that they care so much about this community. Another amazing relationship I have is with Chief of Staff Kansas City. If you listen to this podcast, you’re looking for a job you’re looking to be placed, you’re looking to hire someone, I’ll say it over and over again, up to you whether you want to do business with my friends, that Chief of Staff Kansas City, but I encourage at least a conversation because they’re great people, they care about people. And that’s really a great starting point. So chiefofstaffkc.com. Chief of Staff Kansas City: Making Connections That Matter. I’ve been lucky enough to have a connection with my guest today for a number of years and I feel like every time I look up she’s she is somewhere promoting a really important endeavor, one that is personal to her in a world where every cancer has a cure. We wouldn’t need heroes. But until then we have people like today’s guest, whose own experience with the untreatable inspired an advocacy bigger than her fear. Joining me as the lease holder and president of Brandon’s hope the nonprofit founded after her owns son’s devastating diagnosis. As a survivor in her own right, the self proclaimed mom ecologist finds joy in life’s simplest pleasures while working tirelessly to fund precision based research. And does it all with the hope so much hope that one day every childhood cancer hero will have a cure. You know, as I was reading through my intro, and I’ll give credit to my amazing assistant Ashleigh Sterr, who, who does so much with this podcast really runs the whole thing. And, and that first sentence in a world where every cancer has a cure. I thought boy, wouldn’t that be an incredible place to live in? That would mean that Deliece Hofen could sit back and chill and do nothing every single day. But it’s not like that. She’s busy woman. Deliece, thanks for joining.
Deliece Hofen 2:40
Thanks for having me.
Joel Goldberg 2:42
It’s good to see you. And well for those that most are listening. Hopefully Good to hear you. I know that you are an incredibly inspired woman a busy woman a woman on a mission not just you but the so many people that that are in the Braden’s Hope world. Let’s start simply with this. What is Braden’s Hope?
Deliece Hofen 3:02
Braden’s Hope is a an organization that raises awareness and funds for childhood cancer research. And today we’ve done about 4.7 million in research studies. And we just committed to do another $10 million in research studies.
Joel Goldberg 3:18
Got a roll. And I know that you know in a, I don’t know, in a better world and an easier world, you would be focused on something else. But this is the path that you have gone down for better and worse. I think I’m my own observation here. I also know that that in having interviewed you and spent a little bit of time with you in the past incredibly passionate about this. And that’s something I feel like, again, I wish your passion would be something else. But we all do need a passion. We all do need that cause that I’ve talked to so many people that are looking to find their purpose. And that’s a tough thing to do when sometimes just paying the bills and taking care of your family is enough paycheck to paycheck. When you have that purpose when you have that why whether it’s for the right reasons, the wrong reasons, whatever it is, that can be very powerful. How much have you found your purpose?
Deliece Hofen 4:15
You know, I’ve heard the saying repeatedly about the the two best days of your life are that are that when you’re born and the day that you figure out why. Right and so my previous life I was in education and I loved it. And I assumed that that would be my my life forever. My my direction that I would head down. I loved everything that I did in education. I was a teacher and then an administrator and then when our son got diagnosed with cancer, everything shut down in my world because then it was full time in the hospital helping to take care of him. And literally after two years, I ended up getting cancer myself. I couldn’t take any more leave of absence. And so I had to resign from my position and that was a really hard situation because then I was left with what am I going to do? I mean, really, what is my purpose? Now other than then it was a big job, right? Other than taking care of my son and making sure that he was okay. What is my purpose? And it came very easily, by some friends pushing and saying, Listen, there’s this discrepancy between research between childhood cancer research and adult cancer research. Let’s do something about that. And so that’s why we got started. And then I will tell you that I, I truly feel like at this point, while my other Why was my life and completely my, my passion for work. This truly is my heart this is I feel like we are making such a difference for these kids. We’re giving them a chance to have hope for a future. And in you, I look at my son, and I look at his friends and everybody that’s gone through cancer and the kiddos that are going through it right now. And I, I think, man, I mean, if we can do anything to bring these kids in opportunity to have a tomorrow, there, I don’t think there’s any bigger gift that we could ever hope to share with anyone.
Joel Goldberg 6:07
You know, what’s really so interesting, too, and your perspective is? Well, there’s a couple of things. I mean, one, being a survivor yourself, that it is it is that rare situation, where both you and your son at different stages of life, of course, can I think bond over both being survivors. And certainly I know you took a lot of inspiration from him. But the other to me interesting piece is that so often, these foundations, these nonprofits are created to honor the loss and the memory of someone and incredibly powerful. I mean, you know, and I know so many people that to this day are still grieving, but channeling that grief into helping others. In many ways you were the fortunate one, because somehow miraculously, your son defied every single odd, but yet, you’re still pushing forward, the way I see so many people that lost a loved one are and I’m wondering how you kind of process all of that of coming out of this okay. But yet, still knowing there’s so many that didn’t and trying to impact their lives.
Deliece Hofen 7:21
You know, I think that that one of the most impactful things that that happened to me throughout this journey has been watching people that I’ve met parents that I’ve met, that are in the hospital and through treatment that, you know, we sat in the waiting room with, and we sat in the treatment room with them that we went through all of this together with in watching this, those parents lose their children, and walk out of that hospital without their child. And that has an impact on you that has an impact on you and your gratitude for the position that you’re in. Right. And so when we were going through all of this with Braden, I kept saying Why isn’t somebody doing something to help these kids? It’s so underfunded for children. Why is somebody not doing something and then that light bulb went on? And I said, Well, you’re somebody you can, you could do something. And so we just started doing something to try to make a difference. And, and I will tell you that every day the faces of those kids that have fought with us on the kiddos that have died from cancer and those parents that I know that that ALL Fuels everything that we do over here at Bradens.
Joel Goldberg 8:31
So here’s the question. And I know you’re asked it, I know you ponder it all the time. Right on the website bradenshope.org childhood cancer research is grossly underfunded, and receives less than 4% of the National Cancer Institute’s budget. I mean, we all know how awful cancer is. We all know someone that either lost their life or survived it and most likely we know a lot of people you don’t have to have to run a foundation and organization to know that we we’ve all been touched by it will all continue to be touched by it. We all for the most part love kids. What Why why is that number so low?
Deliece Hofen 9:17
Such a horrible statistic, isn’t it? I mean, before all of this started draw, I thought cancer funding was just cancer funding. I was like, Okay, so there’s this great big magic pot of money and it just gets spent for cancer research funding and everybody gets to benefit from results of that research. What I didn’t know was how very little when to topic cancer research and, and so then I asked Okay, so what why would it be important for there to be childhood cancer research? Can they not just use the stuff that that I’m using as an adult? Why can’t that translate? And the answer is that a lot of time the histologies in the past budgets and their cancers are different than their adult cancers. Plus their bodies are teeny tiny little body and they don’t handle the drugs the same way that we do. There are fewer kids than there are adults that get cancers, that’s just a fact there are fewer kids that get cancer than adults. So less funding goes into that, especially from the pharmaceutical angle, because people are not companies are not willing to invest dollars into a smaller population of people because it’s not as profitable for them. So our kids ended up inheriting 50 and 60 year old chemotherapies as the gold standard of treatment. The problem with that is when you have 50 and 60 year old chemotherapies, you have all of the horrible side effects that go with those old types of therapies. Currently, we have targeted therapies for cancers, and in the adult world, most cancers do. And so those targeted therapies go in and they just find the cancer cells and they take them out, and they leave a lot of your other cells and organs largely alone. Well, it’s not available for these kids, and they have a full on lifetime to survive once they go through treatment. So 90% of kids, after they go through treatment, have lifelong chronic health effects at their side effects forever that they have to manage. And it’s really not okay, that we are in the position that we’re in. So that’s why we need to make a difference for that is just 4% is not enough. So we’re trying to help to level that playing field.
Joel Goldberg 11:19
So some of that makes sense. There, there is actually a reasonable explanation. I don’t think there’s any explanation that justifies 4%. But but certainly what you talked about less kids different than adults. So that makes sense. I mean, I hadn’t thought too much about that. Yet, there’s still the business side of it, there’s still that dirty political business side of it. And that’s not just for childhood cancer, right? I mean, I’ve got a very close friend with ALS that has already outlived her diagnosis, and she should be living a lot longer, but they can’t get certain drugs approved that are just held up. And it’s like, you’ve got a chance to do something for someone right away. And I’m not involved in the politics of all that. But I’ve got to imagine that your involvement in this every day, at times, as rewarding as it can be must be so maddening. And head scratching at times, too.
Deliece Hofen 12:17
It really is. And I will tell you that like when we went through this with Braden, there were so many times that the doctor said to there were three times actually the doctor said to us, listen, there’s nothing else we can do, there are no options available for him. And we kept pushing and pushing and pushing them to try to find some things that we could do on compassionate care, which basically means is, we’re pretty sure that he’s going to die anyway. So we’ll just try this. And let’s see if something works. And we were able to get some of those things on compassionate care. And they worked. And they made a difference for him. And some of the paths that he walked down, were very different paths than anyone has ever walked down before. But we learned from those right we because he was sort of a guinea pig for, for research and for trying things out. We learned from that. And because of that now others have opportunities to use things that that maybe they didn’t have a chance to do before. So that that points to the whole thing about research being a critical, critical component of everything that we do within the cancer world. You’re taking a chance when you’re funding research, it’s either going to work or it’s not going to work, right. But it’s not necessarily isn’t just going to work or is it going to work? It’s the what can we find out from what didn’t work well, or what didn’t work well? So it’s not just a yes, no, it’s let’s learn from the processes of everything that we’re doing. And we learned a lot of really crazy things from going through the process of trying some that compassionate care kind of therapies. And I wish that we had more availability for children and adults to be able to have access to those kinds of situations and they’re not easy to achieve.
Joel Goldberg 13:53
Well, and it seems to me like anyone that is in that awful situation, is willing to try anything, you know, well could be too risky. It could be what do you have to lose, and I don’t mean to simplify that. But that’s, that’s generally the sense that I get and it’s like, the holdup isn’t a hesitancy from the patient or the family. The holdup is from a government or a regulation standpoint. I’m not a scientist, I’m not a researcher. So I’m, I’m delving into an area that that I’m not an expert on, but I mean, we’re all human beings. And it seems to me like at the minimum, a family a patient is looking for anything and if worst case that helps someone in the future, then let’s go is that generally what you hear from most people?
Deliece Hofen 14:42
That is generally what I hear from most people in it. There are so many parents that are out there fighting to be able to have access to some of those alternative kinds of things that that they want to try because you’re exactly like you saying, Listen, if you’re telling me that my child is going to die anyway, can we at least Take a chance here and see if this might work and hoping that it does work. But if it doesn’t work, maybe we’ve learned something from that that can help somebody else. So I completely agree.
Joel Goldberg 15:11
I talked about the numbers, the one other just want to throw out there. If for nothing else, then just, I don’t know the shock value of it. I don’t necessarily need the comments, I’ve already gotten your comment, but only four new cancer drugs have been developed for children since 1980. I mean, that’s just mind boggling to me in a world where we are constantly innovating. And we have a lot of smart people. I don’t know if there’s anything more you want it, but I know you live in that that world. And that’s that it’s just perplexing to me.
Deliece Hofen 15:47
Absolutely. And I, I think that one of the things that we have to keep in mind is that for new drugs for childhood cancer have been approved for use since 1980. But hundreds have been developed for adults during that time. And so one of the things researchers tried to do is they try to take some of those therapies that are available that have been researched and, and put them into childhood cancer applications. And that’s not just a simple process. It’s, it’s a complicated process. And again, there’s a lot of red tape that goes along with that. But the bottom line is that we have to do better for these kids. Because again, we’re giving them those 50 and 60 year old, toxic chemo therapies that are killing their organs, they’re there, a lot of our kids die from the treatment rather than just the cancer. So we’ve got it, we’ve got to do better with that. And one of the great things that we can say that we have here in Kansas City is Kansas University has a drug development program, it’s housed over in Lawrence, it’s connected with KU Cancer Center. And so our funding through KU Cancer Center and Children’s Mercy, one of our grants is drug development, for an activator that’s in a bone cancer. And this activator is also present in some adult cancers, one of which is breast cancer. So we’re finding some really good results with that. So when we can do things like find activators, for our kids, that are also activators. In adults, I think we stand a much better chance of getting that pushed through as a therapy because it can go for children and adults both. And so then you have some interest in being able to fund that from the pharmaceutical industries.
Joel Goldberg 17:25
So if that’s what it takes, that’s, that’s that’s the way you pull them in. I want to go back a little bit to your journey and Braden’s journey. I mean, you know, for any parent to have to have to face the the uphill battle of a child battling for their life and being told they’re not going to live is something I don’t think anyone should ever have to go through. You did. And then oh, by the way, as you’re going through that you get your own diagnosis, and the two of you are going through chemo together at the same facility, the same hospital. What do you remember about that time? Because I, you know, I, I’ve always thought as a parent, I think most of us do. Hey, I’ll take that bullet for my kid. Let me deal with the pain. As long as they’re happy. I can be okay. I think most of us believe that. He already was going through it. Now you’re going through it? How did you handle that of taking care of both of you?
Deliece Hofen 18:29
Well, I think mostly I was just annoyed. I was angry. I was at that point, just done with cancer. I’m like, you know what you’re taking everything from us. And Braden is, is facing a no known cure diagnosis, right, there’s nothing that they think that they can do for him that’s going to help to cure him. And I’ve got this cancer that I’m gonna have to stop my life with him to go get treatment for myself, I’ve got to do my surgeries, my recovery, my chemotherapy, I’ve got to go do all this stuff. That’s taking away my time that I get to spend with him. And this is the end of his life. I want all of my time to be able to be spent with him. And I was just so annoyed at cancer. And I think that anchor really fueled a lot of action on my part. I really do. I feel like that anger is what got me ahead in the morning and made me say, You know what, I don’t care how bad I feel, I don’t care how crummy this all of this stuff is. We’re getting we’ll make it the best day that we can possibly make it and I remember looking at this little five year old child who is bald and going through all of these horrible therapies and feeling really bad. And every day he would wake up and he would say can we go play the park. How about we I mean he was ready to go and I thought you know what, suck it up, big girl. If he can do all of that you can get out there and you can do stuff to so I think it definitely fueled me but it also gave me a very unique perspective of what the differences are that are available for adults versus kids. I remember walking into my first chemotherapy appointment. And they were like, Hey, here’s your chair, and it’s got a massaging back on it, and it’s heated, and it’s got these, like, and they will bring you snacks and drinks. And also, and I’m like, I refuse to turn on the massaging chair and the heated back. Because when we go to clinic at this point, we had a very small clinic here in Kansas City, we would sometimes have to sit on the floor to get his chemotherapy. And I thought, how, how unfair is it, that I get all of this special treatment, and you’re telling me that I mean, they, they would pay for me to go have massages, if I wanted to do that refuse to do any of that, because my child didn’t have access to any of that. Just another differentiator between what’s available for kids and adults.
Joel Goldberg 20:45
Yeah, that’s something so simple as that, but we sell stuff on the outside, right, but but then you’re you’re the ones right there. And, and again, all you’re worried about is your child like that. I don’t need this, like, get that for get that for him get that for her. So he defied all the odds, I guess you both defied the odds together. You know, that was a long time ago now. But I’m sure it’s something that you still think about. Because you know, part of Braden’s hope is telling Braden’s story. It’s simply right there in the name. And then there was a hope and it, it was a miracle. It did work out at what point? What your where was it maybe even remember a moment where you realized, Oh, my goodness, he made it, he defied the odds.
Deliece Hofen 21:33
You know, I can’t even say that there was a moment that it clicks, because there’s always that piece of doubt in the back of your mind that you’re like, Okay, I don’t want to say it out loud. Because if they do, I’m gonna jinx it. And something else is going to happen because it kept coming back three times we hadn’t come back. And so I can’t say that there ever was really a moment. But there is just there was just this kind of relaxation of it over the course of time where you felt like I can breathe a little more, and I don’t have to worry. But to this day, he gets a headache. And my first thought is it’s back. He gets a pain in his leg. Oh, my first thought is, it’s back. It’s a fever. Same thing. So I don’t think that stuff ever goes. There’s like a little bit of PTSD that goes along with that, because you just are waiting for the next shoe to drop. But currently, he’s 18. He is going to graduate from high school this year. And he’s doing really well.
Joel Goldberg 22:29
Just incredible. It really is. And so through all of this, you’re Braden’s Hope. Two part questions before we get to my baseball theme questions. One, how did you get to that point of starting this thing? I know that there was all that motivation of seeing all those other kids along with Braden, so what how did you get started? And two. What has Braden thought over the years of having his name on something, and being involved in something himself to that has raised millions of dollars to help people?
Deliece Hofen 23:02
So the way that it got started was there were several of my friends that were just as surprised by the discrepancies as I was. And they felt like it was just completely unjust for these kids. And so a lot of our friends just said, Listen, let’s do something, we will help you and I’m like, Guys, listen, I am in the Battle of cancer right now, I don’t have a ton of time to do all of this. And they were all saying, We will do whatever it takes. And literally, I can’t tell you how many times my house was filled with people sitting at my dining room table, trying to figure out what it was that we were going to do and how we were going to to get this started and get it off and running. And so I will say that probably one of the best things that’s ever happened to us is to be in this community, where we have just this incredible support system of folks that are here that are willing to say you know what, I can do something to maybe I can’t do everything that I can do something and so I would it just happened because there were so many people that cared and want to make a difference. And again, my background was in education, getting about raising and starting a nonprofit. So we just started doing some stuff and we kind of built the plane while we were flying. So and then and Braden he loves that you know he gets to do a lot of really fun things and go out and see people and smile and be at events and and kind of help to be an ambassador with our other kids that have cancer. Braden also has autism, so he really doesn’t I mean I couldn’t even look you in the eyes and tell you that you really gets the he had cancer, which is kind of an odd gift, right? He thinks I mean his mom went through it too. She was bald also. So he just thinks this is the way life is this is what people do. They go to the hospital they get medicine and chemo and then they move on so that he loves being able to to be out and smile and and take part in helping to raise some awareness for kids and I will say that the the name Braden’s Hope kind of has a two-edged piece to it, right? There’s there’s Brandon’s help for childhood cancer, but then there’s also Braden’s hope is that life is going to be different for other kids that the future is going to be different for other kids. He wants other kids to not have to go through what he went through and hear the words no known cure for his cancer.
Joel Goldberg 25:17
But how beautiful is that, and even even someone that lives with the diagnosis of autism that, okay, fine, he could forget about those early nightmares and doesn’t fully understand those yet. He knows every single day that that he’s taking part in impacting other kids lives that I don’t know, there’s a better blessing than that
Deliece Hofen 25:39
That is such a true story. And I will tell you that I’ve been blown away by so many kids that have had cancer that have had that same kind of outlook. And that same kind of mission is that they want to do something to help make sure that people know about kids with cancer, and that people are doing something to help other kids with cancer. It’s amazing to me how mature and selfless and awesome kids can be, and what a difference they really can make.
Joel Goldberg 26:05
Yeah, it’s such an inspiration. And it’s just, it’s amazing. It really is baseball field questions along this journey, this long journey of yours that you never would have expected life was good as as a teacher and as an administrator, and all that we’ll talk about that in a little bit on my YouTube questions. But what’s the biggest homerun that you’ve hit?
Deliece Hofen 26:29
So the biggest home run for us is going to be that we have to date funded that 4.7 million in research here in Kansas City, for our region here in the Midwest. And then we just committed to do another $10 million, which we are super excited about. Because we think it’s I mean, the 4.7 is having a huge impact on helping kids have hope that we think the additional 10 million is really going to knock it out of the park.
Joel Goldberg 26:55
So huge. How about us, we’re gonna miss and what did you learn along the way?
Deliece Hofen 27:00
There’s so many jobs, I mean, like in a day, I could probably list like 50 from just this morning. And it’s not even that early. There are swings and misses everywhere. But one of the ones that I remember the most is that we had a bicycling group from California that was running from California, over to the other coast, they were riding cross country, and they had stopped in Kansas City, they had a movie that was talking about their journey. And they said, hey, we’d love to come and visit you guys. And we said, Great, let’s have an event. We’ll put together a bunch of stuff. We’ll play your movie, we’ll invite a bunch of people we’ll have we had a senator that came to speak, we have a lot of kids that were there. And we thought this is going to be fabulous. And we get to the night of and I tell you that there were probably probably 50 people that showed up in this huge auditorium that we rented. And I was like, Okay, we need to probably learn some things about how to market our events a little better than this. So definitely learned from that experience.
Joel Goldberg 28:03
They’re painful sometimes. But you still make that same mistake twice. You learn from it. And you move on. Last question, small ball. It’s a culture question. It’s the little things. You like your Royals, you know that they want it not with just hitting the homeruns. But those, those small things that don’t always show up? What is small ball to Brandon’s Hope?
Deliece Hofen 28:24
Well, I think there are a lot of things that are small balls that form actually a big action, right. And so I can remember one time that there was a, I was at my son’s sixth grade choir concert. And there was a little boy in his class that walked over and he hands me this crumpled up $20 bill, and I said, What’s that for? And he said, Well, I know about Brandon’s Hope. And I want to do something to help. And I was like, That is so nice, thank you. And he said I wish it was more. But that’s all the money that I had in my wallet. And immediately the tears just started flowing as he is giving me everything that he has, right. And he’s kid, which is unbelievable. So I think that just those acts of kindness that come from people’s hearts to help us out. Like the Royals, we used to do calendars with the Royals and COVID kind of stopped that. But we would have the kids come out and do about half our taking pictures with the Royals with each one of our kids. And so a kid we get a chance to play ball, basically, with one of the Royals players for like 30 minutes. And those are priceless memories. That’s that’s something you can never take away. I remember going to a funeral of one of our heroes. And right beside her casket was the calendar and I thought if you ever ever doubt, that kindness doesn’t make a difference. There’s your proof right there.
Joel Goldberg 29:43
Yeah, and it’s a good reminder to all of us, no matter what we do, we can take some things for granted. And then we often talk about taking the big things for granted. But you know, for me, I’m lucky enough to be living my dream. I go to the stadium every single day and I try to always remember that when I walk on the field there are millions of people that would love to walk onto a major league baseball field, around the country, even the world and to me, it’s just my office. And a lot of times when, you know when when you guys would do those calendars over the years, and you’d see the kids out there, and you know, every week, the Royals Charities always have groups out. And we’ll talk with some players. And you just see how happy these kids are. Sometimes they don’t always understand either. They could be younger, or they’re going through and they’re in a lot of pain. But even to see the joy, it brings the family and the parents and the pictures and the way that they could share that just just a little bit of hope. And so I think it’s a good reminder to all of us that what can seem somewhat small, is something that people can remember, really forever. I mean, it’s very powerful.
Deliece Hofen 30:46
Absolutely. And it’s so true. Yeah.
Joel Goldberg 30:49
Before we wrap up, and then I’ve got some bonus questions for you on YouTube, I want to encourage everybody, you can get involved in Brandon’s Hope for childhood cancer, the simplest way to do it, is just to go to Bradenshope.org, B-R-A-D-E-N-S, bradenshope.org. And it’ll be in the show notes, as well, if you want to check that out. All the powerful stats are in there, Braden’s story, the story of so many others, and just the chance to be able to make a small or big impact. And so, to least thank you for everything that you do for so many kids. Thanks to Braden for being an inspiration. I’ve got more questions for you, including one about barrel riding. What does that have to do with anything? We’ll find out on YouTube. So I hope everybody will go over and check out our bonus questions, but congratulations on on, on everything that you have done and will continue to do and I really appreciate you spending time.
Deliece Hofen 31:22
Thank you so much.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai