Super Sam's family honors his last wish "to help all the kids"

1 year 1 month 6 days ago Sunday, May 20 2018 May 20, 2018 Sunday, May 20, 2018 6:47:00 AM CDT May 20, 2018 in News
By: Zara McDowell, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

FULTON - All 6-year-old Sam Santhuff wanted to do was comfort children in the hospital, even though he was there too, fighting his own battle.

Sam's impact is spread throughout the world since his death from cancer. His family carries out his daily wish and prayer, "to help all the kids."

The Super Sam Foundation is known for its "comfort packs."

"When I asked him, 'what made you comfortable, he said his stuffed animals, his soft blankets and his movies," said Sam's mom, Cassie Santhuff. "So we now include all of those items in Comfort Packs."

In a year, the Super Sam Foundation surpassed Sam's wish of sending out 1,000 Comfort Packs. But Sam died before he got to see the first one get sent out.

One of the most important relationships in his life was his sister.

She is making her own mark on the family's efforts to honor his memory.

"Sam's the face of it, but I'm the voice of it," 9-year-old Ava said.

She has started her own foundation, Ava's Avengers" to help young people whose brother or sister battling a disease.

Ava said cancer is a family fight.

"Your brother or sister get most of the attention or sometimes even all of it, so you never really get all of those presents or all of those toys, so sometimes it can feel a little lonelier without your brother or sister," she said.

That's why Ava's Avengers focus on "sibling packs." They are like Comfort Packs and their are different versions for boys and girls.

When Sam was in the hospital, Ava would always have a soft stuffed animal, a journal and pens to keep her busy and, when she was feeling "a little crazy," she always put on her "crazy socks." Sibling packs include those items.

Ava raises the money for her foundation through bake sales and activities at Super Sam events.

"You go for Super Sam Foundation and you stay for Ava's Avengers," she said.

Ava said the effort is bittersweet.

"But the thing that just catches my mind most is that sisters should be able to keep their brothers," she said.

The Santhuff family does not do all of this alone. Everyone involved in the foundation is volunteer.

Nine-year-old Lexi Hux and her family donate their time to create "Blessing Bags" for the moms going through the fight as well, like Ava's sibling packs. They have socks, trail mix and other snacks, some gum, wet wipes, a Super Sam water bottle, tissues, LuLaRoe leggings and pens. 

"The Blessing Bags are sent to hospitals statewide and this is their second year doing this," Cassie Santhuff said.

The Santhuff family stayed at a Ronald McDonald house when Sam was going through treatments. Now, they donate their Comfort Packs to The Ronald McDonald House in Columbia, St. Louis, Kansas City and the one they stayed at in Jacksonville, Florida.

Melanie Dixon, Columbia's Ronald McDonald House community relations coordinator said, "This giving organization and family knows what those families are going through and they want to provide comfort too."

The Super Sam Foundation also focuses on research support and advocacy. 

Members travel and advocate for more research for childhood cancer. The foundation has funded three grants as well. 

Sam's mom shared this story on the foundation's website,

"He asked, 'why do I have cancer?' I replied, 'I don’t know, but we are going to beat it.' He asked 'but not all kids do… why not?' With tears starting, I said 'because the doctors need more money to find the cure, but they are trying super hard.' Sam: 'We can give them my piggy bank, would that be enough?' I explained a little more about government funding and how kids cancer only get 4 percent and how we wanted really badly to make that higher. His answer was simple 'Maybe if we say please.'"  

The website says, "Every decision we make is based on three things: would this make Sam proud, would this glorify God and does this help all the kids? And if it does all three, we are probably going to do it."

Families are able to request packs online at The Super Sam Foundation's website. People who want to donate and volunteer can find information on that page as well.

More News

Grid
List
Jefferson City - The National Weather Service is projecting the Missouri River at Jefferson City to crest by mid-week. ... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, June 25 2019 Jun 25, 2019 Tuesday, June 25, 2019 2:26:00 AM CDT June 25, 2019 in News
OSAGE COUNTY – The Mari Osa Delta campground, along the Osage River and Missouri River Delta, has lost about 15... More >>
1 day ago Monday, June 24 2019 Jun 24, 2019 Monday, June 24, 2019 7:10:00 PM CDT June 24, 2019 in News
COOPER COUNTY - Deputies arrested 25-year-old Jasmine Bronger Monday afternoon after an incident Monday morning at the Harriman Hill river... More >>
1 day ago Monday, June 24 2019 Jun 24, 2019 Monday, June 24, 2019 6:39:00 PM CDT June 24, 2019 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA – Thirty-four members of the MU Health Career Institute are graduating Tuesday to help address the workforce shortage. ... More >>
1 day ago Monday, June 24 2019 Jun 24, 2019 Monday, June 24, 2019 4:34:00 PM CDT June 24, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Planned Parenthood can continue carrying out abortions at its St. Louis clinic through Friday, a circuit judge... More >>
1 day ago Monday, June 24 2019 Jun 24, 2019 Monday, June 24, 2019 4:06:00 PM CDT June 24, 2019 in News
SLATER - A 35-year-old man pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to transporting a 16-year-old across state lines for illegal... More >>
1 day ago Monday, June 24 2019 Jun 24, 2019 Monday, June 24, 2019 3:26:00 PM CDT June 24, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Food truck vendors say their new spot in downtown Columbia is good for them and hungry customers. But... More >>
1 day ago Monday, June 24 2019 Jun 24, 2019 Monday, June 24, 2019 2:59:00 PM CDT June 24, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Flooding cleanup kits are now available for those affected by recent natural disasters at the Cole County... More >>
1 day ago Monday, June 24 2019 Jun 24, 2019 Monday, June 24, 2019 2:58:00 PM CDT June 24, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe asked President Donald Trump to issue a major disaster declaration to help those... More >>
1 day ago Monday, June 24 2019 Jun 24, 2019 Monday, June 24, 2019 2:52:00 PM CDT June 24, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City is trying to prevent active mosquito breeding in flooded areas. David Grellner, the city's... More >>
1 day ago Monday, June 24 2019 Jun 24, 2019 Monday, June 24, 2019 2:20:00 PM CDT June 24, 2019 in News
MEXICO - An Overland man was sentenced Monday to 25 years in prison for the 2017 death of Leon Wilder.... More >>
1 day ago Monday, June 24 2019 Jun 24, 2019 Monday, June 24, 2019 2:03:00 PM CDT June 24, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- A second suspect has been charged in connection with a Jefferson City shooting and assumed narcotics deal. ... More >>
1 day ago Monday, June 24 2019 Jun 24, 2019 Monday, June 24, 2019 11:56:00 AM CDT June 24, 2019 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on tensions between the U.S. and Iran and in the Persian Gulf (all... More >>
1 day ago Monday, June 24 2019 Jun 24, 2019 Monday, June 24, 2019 11:31:00 AM CDT June 24, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City's Department of Public Works marked June 30th as the final day for debris collection. The... More >>
2 days ago Monday, June 24 2019 Jun 24, 2019 Monday, June 24, 2019 3:30:00 AM CDT June 24, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - STEMette summer camp will start Monday. The Columbia STEM Alliance in conjunction with Mizzou's College of Engineering... More >>
2 days ago Monday, June 24 2019 Jun 24, 2019 Monday, June 24, 2019 1:49:00 AM CDT June 24, 2019 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Monday night firefighters returned to a hospitalized Boone County man's home to finish mowing his lawn. ... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, June 23 2019 Jun 23, 2019 Sunday, June 23, 2019 11:00:00 PM CDT June 23, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KSDK and AP) — A 26-year-old man was charged on Monday in relation to the shooting of... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, June 23 2019 Jun 23, 2019 Sunday, June 23, 2019 8:06:00 PM CDT June 23, 2019 in News
LEBANON - A Moniteau County man has been sentenced for the 2016 death of a Tipton student. Travis Clark,... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, June 23 2019 Jun 23, 2019 Sunday, June 23, 2019 6:26:00 PM CDT June 23, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 77°
9am 78°
10am 80°
11am 82°
12pm 83°