OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (KSNT)– Ally Baier passed away at 15 years old from a brain tumor in May. Her family created Ally’s League to honor her memory through giving back.
“I would never want another cancer family to feel alone,” said Crysta Baier, Ally’s mother. “To feel like they didn’t have anybody to lean on.”
Baier spoke of the importance of having a strong support system, during that time. For her, she looked to family and friends for comfort, rallying together to keep Ally’s spirit alive.
“My biggest fear as a mom is I don’t want my kid to be forgotten,” Baier said. “She loved crazy hair. She didn’t care really about wearing matching clothes. She was just who she was, and she kind of didn’t really care what other people thought.”
Ally also loved crazy and comfy socks. The Overland Park family created a sock drive for Ally’s League. The sock drive ended December 14, surpassing their initial goal. What started as a donation goal of 500 socks, quickly grew to more than 2,000. Now, they’re sharing socks with children in hospitals across the state with the hope of brightening their day.
Ally’s Sock Drive has also inspired more people to give back, including one mother from Lawrence, Tricia Venters, who collected more than 200 socks in her community.
It was her daughter’s battle with Leukemia at an early age, that inspired her to take action.
“Life suddenly comes to a standstill, and you kind of become focused on what you can do to keep your child alive and get them healthy again,” Venters said, recalling the difficulty of her daughter’s experience.
Venters’ daughter survived, but for those parents who suffer the tragic loss of a child, some are able to find support in each other.
“That’s what we’re trying to do… help other kids be brave, help other families, and continue to honor Ally,” Baier said.
The socks are being donated to Children’s Mercy KC, KU School of Med KU, Wesley’s Children’s Hospital Wichita, Children’s Mercy Wichita. According to Baier and her family, they plan to donate more socks to homeless and teen shelters as well, and she’s encouraged families in similar situations, who are in need of support, to reach out.
To show support, or for more information on Ally’s League, you can click here to visit their website.