OHIO VALLEY — A young man who has ties to Mason and Gallia counties, and is battling leukemia, has decided to give back to those who are fighting a similar battle.
Holdyn Keefer, 6, of Point Pleasant, has decided he wants to help the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) by collecting pop tabs for the organization. Fruth Pharmacy locations in Gallipolis and Point Pleasant are helping collect pop tabs for Keefer, as are New Hope Bible Baptist Church in Point Pleasant and Tuscany Cuccini, in Gallipolis.
“Holdyn wanted to help the Ronald House because when he was admitted we were able to do his laundry for free instead of buying new or running home. It also helped us both to be able to stay at the hospital with him. When he was first admitted he didn’t want us to leave him – and of course, we didn’t want to leave him either,” Travis and Sarah Keefer explained about their son’s desire to help RMHC.
Both Travis and Sarah are originally from Gallia County.
RMHC has a program where they collect pop tabs and then they recycle these pop tabs to raise thousands of dollars in order to help support their programs for children and their families facing difficult health issues. One of the best known programs the pop tabs will help is the Ronald McDonald House. These are homes that have been built to address problems of housing near a hospitalized child, and the expense of a family staying together in another city. There are currently 365 Ronald McDonald Houses – these houses are available as a “home-away-from-home” for families so they can stay close by their hospitalized child at little or no cost. At every house, families enjoy home cooked meals, private bedrooms, and playrooms for children. Some houses offer special suites for children with suppressed immune systems, accredited education programs, recreational activities, non-clinical support services, and sibling support services.
Other programs that pop tab collection supports are RMHC’s family rooms – available inside some hospitals, mobile care units, grants and scholarship programs.
If you would like to help Holdyn collect pop tabs for this charity, please drop off your pop tabs to Fruth Pharmacy on State Route 160 in Gallipolis or Fruth Pharmacy on Jackson Avenue in Point Pleasant, or New Hope Bible Baptist Church, 107 Robinson Street, Point Pleasant, or Tuscany Cuccini, 1308 Eastern Avenue, Gallipolis.
Holdyn was diagnosed with leukemia last year and has been receiving care at Cabell Huntington Hospital. Holdyn has recently appeared on area billboards and television ads for the Hoops Family Children’s Hospital and continues to fight the disease. Several area fundraisers in both Mason and Gallia counties have taken place for the family since Holdyn became ill and now Holdyn wishes to give back in some way.
Travis said his place of employment, Constellium, is also putting the word out to collect the tabs at work and the family is excited to take on this project to benefit RMHC’s. The deadline to turn in the pop tabs is May 31.
(Editor’s note: Melanie Sherman of Fruth Pharmacy contributed to this article.)