Oklahoma Family Starts Charity After Daughter's Battle Against Illness

Sunday, February 21st 2016, 11:08 pm
By: News 9

Each year, several Oklahomans and local businesses step up to raise money for children who are battling devastating illnesses, and the first family to ever receive that help has now turned it into a charity benefiting others.

"I'm like, 'God, why?'” Long Tran said.

You'd never know it now, but those big brown eyes and long, silky hair are crowns of glory for little Riley, shining symbols of defeat, signs of remission.

"She lost her hair. She couldn't walk. Blood clots. Holes in her tongue. Holes,” Tran said. “It was crazy."

She's 9 now, but when she was just 3 years old, a blister on her foot led to a long journey ahead for the little girl.

"On her birthday, a team of doctors came in,” Tran said.

And Riley was diagnosed with leukemia.

"I felt useless,” he said. “Helpless."

But they weren't alone. An entire army came out of the woodwork, people and business owners the family didn't even know.

"I kind of explain it like this. It's like I won the lottery, and everybody came out with their hand out, but it was the total opposite,” Tran said. “ It was like everyone came out and said, ‘What can I do to help?’ and that's what inspires us to do it."

After two and a half years of chemo, Riley's cancer is gone, and in its place is a new prognosis of hope for other children who are battling life-threatening illnesses.

Each year since, the Trans have raised money and have given away the donations at an annual fundraising event held in September which is childhood cancer awareness month.  It's called FAITH Kids and stands for Fighting Against Illness to Heal Kids. Faith is Riley's middle name.

"I'm going to continue to do this forever, because I think it's going to keep my daughter healthy, and I know what it was like when we went through it,” Tran said. “It was painful."

This year, F5 Storm Shelters has donated an in ground shelter to raffle off for donations.  

If you'd like to help, contact Long Tran at (405) 532-3952.