Groups help children with illnesses attend Ohio State Spring Game for free

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Saturday, thousands of fans will crowd The Shoe for Ohio State’s Spring Game. Among them will be a group of families who are taking care of children with life-threatening illnesses.

“The kids love it,” said Chris Elliott, executive director for A Kid Again, a non-profit that provides free, monthly adventures for sick children. “They spend way too much time unfortunately in the hospital. They spend way too much time visiting with doctors and having treatments done. So, we’re told every single month when they get that invitation, you know the kids are so excited.”

This year, 1,000 patient children and their families will attend the Spring Game for free.

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“It means the world,” said Kanda Benner, mom of three boys. Her middle son, Luke was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 4 years old.

“And it kinda just came out of nowhere,” Benner explained. “Anybody who is diagnosed knows that you have a life one day and the next you’re in the hospital.”

Luke is now 10 years old and will attend Saturday’s event along with several of his other friends who have also experienced or currently experiencing life-threatening sickness. His mom says outing with “A Kid Again” give him something to look forward to.

“Luke’s treatment was actually three and a half years,” Benner explained. “The hospital becomes our home away from home. But then when they send you an email about an adventure, it’s like “yes!!! We have another adventure to go to.”

The Spring Game kicks off at noon.