• FAMILY FOCUS: Charlotte family turns heartache into hope for others


    It's an unimaginable tragedy for any parent to lose a child.

    One Charlotte family whose toddler died from cancer is using their heartache and loss to give back to other families.

    Meg McElwain and Frank Turner’s son Mitchell was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia at three months old.

    “He never let cancer get him down.  That's one of the things that was so inspiring about him,” Turner said.

    Doctors gave Mitchell a 40 percent chance of survival.

    “I trusted God and I truly believed that Mitchell would beat cancer,” McElwain said.  

    Mitchell received 75 blood transfusions and 417 chemo treatments all covered by the family's insurance, but it wasn't enough. 

    Mitchell died in 2014, at just two years old.

    “I could not watch that baby suffer anymore,” McElwain said.

    They turned their grief into action, creating Mitchell's Fund for families of children with pediatric cancer.

    The fund covers things like mortgage payments, electric bills and even funeral arrangements. 

    “If I could tell these families anything, it's that we're here for you. We want to be supportive,” Turner said.

    Mitchell's Fund also covers pediatric mental health, because Mitchell's older brother is still in counseling after losing his best friend.

    “I didn't have him around and I felt lonely and I really missed him,” Mitchell's brother, Frank, told Channel 9.

    The family said it's therapeutic for them being able to help others.

    “When I see the impact that the fund is making, it tells me that Mitchell's suffering was not in vain,” McElwain said.

    To learn more about Mitchell's fund, click here.

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