Sam's Legacy


From the founders of With Purpose...

It all started when our then two-year-old son, Sam, was diagnosed with DIPG, a uniformly fatal brain cancer.  Ten days later, his twin sisters Ada and Mae were born.  We were told the best modern treatment could offer would give him, on average, another year.  Because he was only 2, Sam was not eligible for clinical trials.

So we began planning our escape. We would go everywhere, and do everything. We would manufacture joy at any cost; scrape the fun out of each moment because we knew they were limited. We would make Sam happy.  In order to execute a plan like that you have to run. You have to pack up your newborns and your very sick child, put a smile on your face and turn off the part of your brain screaming “SAVE HIM!”….and just run.

So we did.  We took more than twenty trips around the United States.  We ran from our home and jobs in South Carolina, relocating with family and friends in Minnesota. We ran to museums, zoos, toy stores, beaches and parks. But we weren’t fast enough.

Near the end,  we knelt down before that beautiful child and pleaded with him to tell us what we could do to make him happy. His response, “I am happy.” He died the next day.


What do you do when you can't save your son?

Inspired by the support of friends, family and perfect strangers and motivated by a deep desire to do SOMETHING, Sam's parents started With Purpose.  Although they had ideas about what With Purpose could be, it was the young people in their life that took up the cause and made the organization what it is today:  a youth-led movement dedicated to creating a world where kids with cancer have access to safe and effective treatment.  

We know people want to do good things for their community, but it can be difficult to see how their efforts can have a tangible impact.  We encourage you to look to our young leaders.  They will show you how you can easily participate in something uplifting - something with purpose.  They will show you how small acts of kindness can give people hope.