Kelsey’s Kids brings precious laughter to children with cancer |

Kelsey’s Kids brings precious laughter to children with cancer

Kay Vasilakis
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Submitted photoAllison Gohl, Kelsey Bohman, Cassie Brickell, and Kari Nesbit, members of The Roaring Forks, on the top of Fremont Pass during the Courage Classic, a fundraising effort for Children's Hospital last July.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Kids are supposed to run and jump and play and have fun. But when a devastating illness rears its ugly head, fun times are precious tidbits in a seemingly endless routine of medical procedures.

Kelsey Bohman of Glenwood Springs and her family have firsthand experience in dealing with all the problems of ravaging illness. She was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia when she was 11 years old and spent almost the entire year in Children’s Hospital.

Kelsey has been cancer-free for eight years. She is a sophomore at CSU, studying social work and family development. She’s using the determination she found fighting cancer to turn stressful situations into opportunities to help kids laugh.

The Good Medicine Marshmallow Launchers were created in 2001 to relieve tension and have some fun for kids in isolation in the Children’s Hospital oncology unit. They proved to be a big hit with the kids, and a bigger hit with the medical staff, who recognized “Good Medicine.”

The launchers provide a fun way for little patients to exercise their lungs. Doctors advise regular deep breathing to help rid the lungs of built-up fluid. Playing with marshmallow launchers is something the kids love to do regularly.

The Kelsey’s Kids Foundation is teaming up with other Colorado cancer-fighting organizations including Kids Coalition, to bring together resources to help families dealing with cancer. Kids on the Western Slope usually receive their help on the Front Range.

Kelsey’s Kids is taking its marketing nationwide, targeting donors to put the launchers in hospitals. They also want to put the launchers into many child life specialists’ hands for distribution to the children who need a little fun.

Kelsey and her family wish to make their nonprofit self-sufficient; to create a network for families in the valley to receive help for other everyday challenges; fund scholarships for kids and their siblings; and donate funds to research projects.

“At Kelsey’s Kids, we saw them as a way to fund further research of childhood disease, a means of supporting families as they journey together along this difficult path, a way to supply assistance to the many institutions and foundations that are working hard to meet the needs of these families during difficult circumstances, and most importantly, as a way to bring joy to the lives of those little people struggling with a life-threatening illness,” said Pat Bohman, Kelsey’s mom and president of Kelsey’s Kids.

To contact the Kelsey’s Kids Foundation, call 945-6229 or go to

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