Iron Workers, Operating Engineers donate $1,850 to help toddler with leukemia

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By SHERI GASSAWAY

Correspondent

A little girl undergoing treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia continues to touch the hearts of the construction crew working on the campus renewal project at Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

In July, Travis Barnes and Greg Combs – both members of Iron Workers Local 396 – noticed the toddler and her mom

PROUD PAPA: Bryan Keith holds his 2-year-old daughter Vivian after opening presents from Ironworker Brad Singleton at a Sept. 26. event at Milo’s Bocce Garden to help offset costs for the toddler’s ongoing medical expenses. – Greg Combs, Ironworkers 396 photo
PROUD PAPA: Bryan Keith holds his 2-year-old daughter Vivian after opening presents from Ironworker Brad Singleton at a Sept. 26. event at Milo’s Bocce Garden to help offset costs for the toddler’s ongoing medical expenses. – Greg Combs, Ironworkers 396 photo

waving at them through a ninth-floor window at the children’s hospital. They waved back and forth for weeks until Combs decided to send 2-year-old Vivian Keith a special message: “Get well soon.” The note was sprayed-painted on one of the construction beams.

Shortly afterward, Combs and Barnes were able to meet with Vivian and her parents, further strengthening their bond with the family. Since then, the construction crew at the job site has been collecting money to help offset costs for the toddler’s ongoing medical expenses.

They presented the $1,850 donation to the family at a recent fundraising event held for Vivian at Milo’s Bocce Garden, 5201 Wilson Ave. in St. Louis. About 40 Ironworkers, along with members from IUOE Local 513, attended the fundraiser. More than $7,000 was raised during the event.

“They’ve formed a special bond with the little girl,” said Tom McNeil, Local 396 business manager. “It gives them a good feeling to be able to help her out while she is going through treatment.”

A friend of the family has also set up a Go Fund Me page. We’ll have more on this heart-warming story in our Oct. 15 print edition. Stay tuned!

 

 

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