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State Honoree

Kyle Amber

Florida

Kyle Amber, 11, of Pinecrest, Fla., a sixth-grader at Palmetto Middle School, started a student-run organization that has raised more than $50,000 to improve the lives of children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Inspired by the bravery of his older brother Ian as he went through three years of chemotherapy for leukemia, Kyle started selling stickers when he was just 6 years old to raise money to help establish Miami’s first center for pediatric bone marrow transplants. He spoke to other students about what he was doing, and soon they were helping. And as he branched out into other fund-raising projects – including bake sales, candy drives, toy collections, raffles and garage sales – teachers, businessmen and other adults joined the effort. When he saw how many people were interested in helping, he conceived the idea of a kids’ organization to help kids with cancer. His idea led to a non-profit organization called the Kids That Care Pediatric and Cancer Fund, which is affiliated with the foundation of Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. The group not only helped create Jackson Memorial’s pediatric transplant unit, but also provides trips, toys, computers, clothing and other items that bring a smile to the faces of sick children. “You can’t imagine how rewarding it is to help other people until you try it,” Kyle said. “Once you start, you just can’t stop.”