The Kansas City Star

A Bedroom for Hannah

A thirteen-year-old wants a private place of her own The room is beach-themed with peach-colored walls and blue and tan throw pillows — “Life is better at the beach,” one says — and it’s waiting for her. For 13 years, Hannah Viens has shared a room with her three sisters in the finished basement of […]

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Santa and the Superheroes

A five-year-old boy saves Christmas from the dark side No doubt, the security guards at Children’s Mercy Hospital have seen a lot of strange things. But never had they witnessed a Christmas Eve visitors’ list like this. Some might call it the not-so-silent night of Holy Superheroes, Batman! all for one special little boy. That

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The Time Traveler

The mission began inside a black limousine. Leather seats, high-tech lighting, a Bose speaker system. Below a shelf of glass goblets — “Is that a bar?”— Kathy Harris discovered a lift-off compartment with iced-down soft drinks, including Dr. Pepper, her sonʼs favorite. “Tommy, do you want some?ʼ she asked her 13-year-old. He nodded, almost laughing.

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A Story of Hope

A brilliant young girl helps inspire a new generation Seated at the head table in the Kauffman Foundation’s conference center, 17-year-old Hope Corwin finally understood her Christmas gift. There she was, one of 209 high school girls at the Hope Summit, listening to superstar scientists, mathematicians, engineers and entrepreneurs. All the speakers were women. Women

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Let It Snow

All a nine-year-old boy suffering from cancer wanted for Christmas was snow When the chemo started and nurses told 9-year-old Mason Kempf to think of something happy, he thought about snow. Even though the outside breezes were soft and warm and the tree’s leaves green as he lay this summer in the hospital bed at

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Christmas Outside the Box

Two inseparable girls find each other on Christmas Eve Just a day after Thanksgiving and they already were back at Children’s Mercy Hospital. When she heard the doctors tell them that her 13-year-old daughter would probably have to spend Christmas there, too, Stephanie Parker sighed. This would be Shaneil’s second Christmas in the hospital since

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The Polar Express

A little boy gets a “train set” for Christmas and gets to relive his favorite movie For several days, the cold had put a choke hold on the train’s pipes. No bathrooms, no showers, no laundry. And this train couldn’t stop for repairs. The 19 volunteers aboard were quickly changing from cheery elves to stinky

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