GRANDVIEW, Mo. — Two metro siblings devastated by cancer are using their pain to help others.
They started the fundraiser, Karaoke for a Cure, in 2014 after their mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Rob McKinney owns a karaoke company as a side gig. He and his sister, Sharon McKinney, couldn’t think of a better way to honor their mother than through music, dancing and giving back to those on a painful journey. It’s a journey they know all too well.
“Oh, I think she’s proud of her kids,” Rob said.
Proud of her kids who are raising money in her memory.
“She’s not suffering anymore,” said Sharon, who’s president of Karaoke for a Cure.
Their mom, Bonnie Sue Roeder, lost her 16-month battle to pancreatic cancer in 2014.
“We were real close, and she was my best friend,” Sharon said.
“I think she’s looking down at us,” Rob said with tears in his eyes, “and saying I’m so proud of you two for carrying on my legacy in helping other people.”
After Bonnie Sue died, the fundraiser Karaoke for a Cure took center stage, providing a voice to raise awareness.
“We want everyone to know how deadly a disease pancreatic cancer is,” Sharon said.
Statistics show pancreatic cancer will be the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. by 2020. The survival rate is only 9%.
“It scares me,” Rob said. “After everything I’ve seen my mom go through — we lost our aunt to pancreatic cancer. I lost a good friend to pancreatic cancer.”
A couple years ago, doctors inadvertently found three precancerous cysts on Rob’s pancreas. Doctors drained them. Now, he goes in for a check up every year.
“As a matter of fact, it makes me feel like I’ve got a ticking time bomb inside me,” Rob said.
That’s why they choose, every day, to fill other people’s lives with joy and hope through Karaoke for a Cure.
“Mom would’ve had a ball,” Sharon said. “She didn’t sing, but she loved to dance.”
“You’ve just got to believe in God and live life to the fullest,” Rob said.
Karaoke for a Cure is this Saturday, Nov. 2. It starts at 6 p.m. at the Grandview-Hickman Mills Elks Lodge, located at 13600 Arrington in Grandview.
There will also be a raffle and silent auction at Saturday’s event. All proceeds go to support pancreatic cancer patients and research.
If you can’t attend, but still want to support, donate here.