Raising pizza money for their mom’s cancer care team was just a start for these girls

Their goal was to raise enough money to send a meal to the team taking care of their mom at Norton Cancer Institute – St. Matthews. But there was a surprise coming.

The COVID-19 pandemic can provide angst and challenges for everyone. It can prove especially challenging for those undergoing cancer treatment and their families.

Turning worry into action

For 9-year-old Egan and 11-year-old Etta Hofmann, the coronavirus outbreak brought additional worry for their mom, TJ Hofmann, who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer at Norton Cancer Institute. Egan and Etta decided to turn that worry into action.

Egan and Etta grabbed some of their friends to form a group called “Helping Our Heroes.” Over the course of several weeks, they did yardwork and other small chores around their neighborhood to raise money to support Norton Cancer Institute through Norton Healthcare Foundation. Their goal was to raise enough money to send a meal to the team taking care of their mom at Norton Cancer Institute ­– St. Matthews.

“It made me feel happy that we’re helping the people who help my mom,” Etta said.

Thanks to their hard work — including spending three days clearing a creek of mud and debris — the “Helping Our Heroes” group raised $400. When they went to order personal pan pizza meals from Pizza Hut for all of the Norton Cancer Institute – St. Matthews team, the girls were in for a surprise.

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One act of kindness inspires another

Brian Reetz, Pizza Hut operator, was touched by the kids’ efforts. He offered to donate the pizzas in honor of the girls, so their money could go toward cancer research.

“We are very honored to recognize the amazing efforts by these two girls and their friends,” Brian said.

“We were so excited Pizza Hut offered to help us with the meals!” Egan said.

Annie Davis, R.N., one of the nurses at Norton Cancer Institute – St. Matthews, said she feels so appreciated and is especially grateful for the girls’ kind gesture and hard work.

“I think I speak for all nurses when I say, these girls are the real heroes,” Annie said. “Their selflessness and compassion during these uncertain times is a true testament to their character.”

During the COVID-19 outbreak, nurses like Annie have become even closer to the patients and have been inspired by them as they get treatment during a time when policies limit visitors to prevent the spread of the virus.

“They show such strength and resilience, showing up for treatment week after week without the support of a loved one. I can only hope that seeing a familiar face when they walk through our doors brings a tiny sense of relief,” she said.

“Although I am the ‘caregiver,’ these amazing men and women give me much more in return,” Annie said.

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