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Gone but not forgotten

 (From left) Taylor Mohs, McKenna Mohs, Julianna Deszell, Alleson Castro, Catherine Pendry and Eliana Ewing sell baked goods and drinks at the “Snack Shack.” The girls raised money for the Children’s Cancer Society in honor of their friend, Nathan McKean who recently died of cancer.  - Photo by Rachel Brant
(From left) Taylor Mohs, McKenna Mohs, Julianna Deszell, Alleson Castro, Catherine Pendry and Eliana Ewing sell baked goods and drinks at the “Snack Shack.” The girls raised money for the Children’s Cancer Society in honor of their friend, Nathan McKean who recently died of cancer.
— image credit: Photo by Rachel Brant

Five-year-old Nathan McKean touched the lives of everyone around him, including his big sister Shelby’s soccer team.

The FC Crush Academy soccer team had a fund-raiser earlier this week at Twelve Oaks Park on Ashley Circle in Silverdale to raise money for the Children’s Cancer Society. Teammate Shelby McKean’s 5-year-old brother, Nathan, died June 16 of neuroblastoma, a cancer of the nervous system that occurs in young children.

“We thought it would be a fun idea to help the cancer society and because of Nathan,” said Julianna Deszell, 10.

Nathan was first diagnosed with neuroblastoma in January 2004. He frequently underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments as well as various surgeries.

The girls named their fund-raising business the “Snack Shack” and sold cookies, brownies, banana bread, slushies, Popsicles and other items during the week.

“This is stuff that a lot of people would like,” said 10-year-old Catherine Pendry.

A small red and blue toy cash register rang up sales throughout the week. By Wednesday, the girls raised more than $80 for the Children’s Cancer Society.

“They thought of this mostly on their own,” said Stacy Mohs, a McKean family friend. “They just wanted to do something for the family.”

The FC Crush Academy girls wore buttons in honor of Nathan. The buttons also were worn during his memorial service June 24 at Camp McKean on Kitsap Lake. “This is for the cancer society and our friend Nathan so they can buy more stuff to cure cancer,” said Alleson Castro, 10.

The girls had another idea in mind for how the Children’s Cancer Society could spend the money raised at the “Snack Shack.”

“They could buy little toys for them (cancer patients) to play with,” Pendry said.

To get away during this difficult time, Nathan’s parents, Mike and Abra McKean, took their three children, 13-year-old Mikey, 10-year-old Shelby and 6-year-old Kinsey, to Disneyland earlier this week.

Nathan got the surprise of a lifetime in November 2004 when the Make-A-Wish Foundation, along with several other agencies including Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue, surprised him at his Silverdale home. Nathan loved Disney characters and his parents wanted to take him and his brother and sisters to Disney World, but decided the trip would be difficult given his condition. Instead, the Make-A-Wish Foundation remodeled the McKeans’ basement into a playroom for Nathan. Pam Heinrich painted Disney characters on the walls and a new TV and DVDs were provided by Best Buy in Silverdale. Home Depot and SD Deacon, of Silverdale, also helped with the project.

A CKFR fire engine and ambulances also went to the McKean home and gave Nathan an up-close view of the vehicles, his very own firefighter helmet and other goodies. Five CKFR staff members attended Nathan’s memorial service to show their support for his family.

“It’s always sad when you have a young child that’s ill,” CKFR Chief Ken Burdette said. “We were glad to do something for him and his family.”

The FC Crush Academy soccer girls hope to participate in various cancer fund-raising events in the future.

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