Brave, courageous, valiant, and heroic – these are just a few words that describe 11-year-old Sadie Keller who’s turning her condition into a crusade of care.
Unlike most children her age, Sadie has had anything but a normal childhood. At the tender age of just 7, she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, a rare form of cancer that attacks the bone marrow and compromises the integrity of white and red blood cells. The unfortunate diagnosis interrupted her crucial scholastic schedule while subsequently leading to a demanding, arduous period of chemotherapy treatments embroiled with a series of complications involving blood transfusions, related infections, and regressive effects. Despite the gravity of the exhaustive situation, Sadie was able to pull through and has been happily cancer free since May of 2017.
Even in the midst of her challenging battle, her relentless spirit convinced her to share her enervating experience with others through a set of videos made to uplift others who shared her unfortunate experience. The growing notoriety of her videos led to her being featured on Inside Edition, ESPN, and heralded the creation of the Sadie Keller Foundation – an initiative dedicated to increased awareness in underfunded areas of pediatric cancer treatment.
The inspiring work of The Foundation attracted the attention of Matthew Fleeger, CEO, President and Director of Gulf Coast Western. Teaming up with Sadie and family, the corporate donor was instrumental in the commencement of the 2018 Sadie’s Sleigh Toy Drive, donating $14,000. The contribution helped the campaign exceed its goals and set a precedence for other organizations to step up and get involved in such life changing enterprises.
The success of the Foundation’s Toy Drive is indicative of both Sadie’s ambitious activism and Matthew Fleeger’s commitment to the philanthropic aspects of corporate culture. Sadie continues to lobby for legislative funding that supports cancer research.