|Kate Callahan, one of this year's Luke Muller Golf Outing's honorees|
Six-year-old Kate Callahan loves animals, including her dog Ringo and her many pretend pets. "She's been caught hiding dog food in her room to feed her stuffed animals multiple times," says Cameron Grimme, a longtime family friend. Callahan goes to school and summer camp, and she loves the zoo—especially the giraffes and zebras. "Every once in a while she will put her foot down, which is always good for a laugh," Grimme says. "One time she came to wake up her parents to make her breakfast, and after being told to give them 'five more minutes' for the second time she yelled to them, 'So you're just going to let your 6-year-old daughter with cancer starve to death?' as she stormed off to her room."
That's the other thing about Callahan—she has Pilomyxoid Astrocytoma, an inoperable mass in the center of her brain.
So in addition to school, summer camp and play, Callahan also has chemo treatments every Tuesday at Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Medical Center. She has minor seizures on a weekly basis. She's fed via a port in her stomach. This past Saturday she had surgery to repair the shunt that drains fluid from her brain—it had become clogged. "Even though she's still able to be a kid, she obviously deals with a lot on a daily basis," Grimme says. "She will be undergoing chemo basically for the rest of her life."
Callahan and her 11-year-old brother, Johnny, live with their father, Ben, and mother, Man-Ching, in Finneytown, Ohio. Both Man-Ching and Ben work for Johnstone Supply, Grimme's family's business—which is how Grimme knows the family. Man-Ching has worked for Johnstone Supply for 25 years and Ben, for about 10. "Man-Ching is the Director of Products and Profitability, although she's held just about every position in the company so far and is credited with a lot of our success," Grimme says. Grimme has lived in Fort Thomas for the past 20 years, and has known Kate since she was born.
"Kate is very sweet and she melts your heart on site," Grimme says. "Even before her diagnosis she had some health issues. ... There were a lot of concerns about her development, but she broke through and developed into the beautiful, sweet, hilariously inquisitive girls she is today."
Grimme talks about taking Callahan to the mall to see Santa, and eating at her favorite restaurant—Chipotle. Recently Grimme was with Callahan in Florida, for Grimme's sister's wedding—Callahan was the flower girl. "I was not feeling well one day and laid down on the couch next to Kate," Grimme says. "She could tell I was struggling and reached over and began rubbing my head with one hand while she held her iPad in the other, watching her favorite show, 'Good Luck Charlie.' After a few minutes she asked, 'Are you feeling OK, Mr. Cameron?' Needless to say, it was a moment I'll never forget. She's always cognizant of other people of other people that are sick, or having a rough day, and likes to ask a lot of questions about what's ailing them. When she was in the hospital after her initial surgery she was the life of the party, and had quite a fan base among the staff. She had nurses from all over the hospital coming to visit each time they were on duty to hear her sing the Frozen soundtrack. There were times she would be laying in the hospital bed covered with tubes, needles, bandages, and would randomly break out singing the national anthem of all things."
Callahan also loves crafts. "When quizzing her about what she wanted to do with Make-A-Wish organization, she told her mom she wanted to go to Michaels to do some crafts," Grimme says. "Obviously that wasn't good enough for Make-A-Wish so they are trying to coach her into something a little more significant."
Donating auction items or participating as a golfer at the 9th Annual Luke Muller Golf Outing will directly benefit Walz and Callahan. For more information visit www.lmgo.org of the LMGO Facebook page.