ELK RIVER, Minn. (FOX 9) - Over the last decade, the Elk River-based nonprofit Bags of Smiles has delivered joy to thousands of sick kids at 18 different Minnesota hospitals.
The volunteer-based organization was started by Kristin Burma and her family after her then one-year-old son Zachary was diagnosed with neuroblastoma.
"When we left (the hospital), we thought we need to give back somehow," said Burma.
Zach is in sixth grade now and is cancer-free. His grandfather, Dave Kulics, was there every step of the way and is Bags of Smiles' biggest supporter.
Kulics is now battling the same disease his grandson did, recently diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma.
"To see it turn and us be there for him, I didn't think would ever happen," said Burma.
"It's the circle of life. Zach is in the beginning, I'm in the end," said Kulics.
"We were faced with a challenge with Zach and we were so fortunate and so blessed with the outcome that there was a reason that happened to us," said Burma, "I haven't yet figured out why it's happening to my dad."
Dave Kulics has a dying wish: For five businesses, corporations, or supporters to help carry on the mission of Bags of Smiles.
In the hospital this Christmas Eve, Kulics had a vision.
"I was in the hospital; I've got a non-curable cancer...I just had a vision of 5 shadows of people who were mystery donors."
He's now sharing his dying wish: for five businesses, corporations, or supporters to help carry on the mission of Bags of Smiles.
"The people who have come to our golf tournaments and the bowling events are all good supporters, but you can't keep asking the same people. There has got to be some magic there," said Kulics.
Bags of Smiles
Cancer has impacted his family in many ways, and by making this public plea, Kulics hopes these magic bags can help sick kids for years to come.
To learn more about Bags of Smiles or to donate, visit: https://bagsofsmiles.org/