Mother who lost son to cancer hopes foundation will help others
As he lay dying, Eli Florence had a dream: that other boys and girls in his predicament would have a chance to spend lots of time with their parents.As he lost his battle with leukemia, Eli, 15, knew that his mother, Trina, had left her $55,000-a-year job so she could be with him, as she says, "24-7," from diagnosis to stem-cell transplants, from remission to his final, sad days. After all, the son said: "Mom, you can't spend time with money." And so, Wednesday, Trina Florence-King, 41, told ESPN.com that she's formed The Eli Foundation, with the goal of raising money and advocating for mothers and fathers who must choose between their jobs and, in most cases, a terminally ill child.
The Eli Foundation
Eli Florence's mother, Trina Florence-King, says contributions can be made to: The Eli Foundation, P.O. Box 931, Fenton, MI 48430, or at any Chase bank nationwide.And you can go here to see more photos of Eli and the special night that five Lake Fenton athletes organized to honor him as homecoming king.
The first major event for The Eli Foundation is planned for Saturday. At a local Buick dealership, a couple thousand people are expected to gather for a previously scheduled sales promotion. As it turns out, Patsy Lou Williamson, the owner of the dealership, is the wife of the Flint mayor. The Williamsons seemed poised to make a substantial contribution to The Eli Foundation. "We've offered to help to get this foundation started,'' Mayor Williamson said.Before Eli got sick, on a lark, Trina Florence-King bought a 1987 very-used Greyhound bus, with 900,000 miles on it. She had hopes of traveling in it on vacations. She never did. Now, she's hoping to refurbish it with money raised by The Eli Foundation and to live in it as she travels to aid other families that can learn from her experience. "I want to interview them, get to know them," she said, "and then help those families with the greatest need.''
ESPN.com correspondent Jay Weiner writes from St. Paul, Minn. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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