Family starts "Prayers for Kayleigh" Foundation in memory of daughter

Kayleigh McClendon passed away from a rare form of brain cancer in 2016.

Posted: May 11, 2018 10:52 AM
Updated: May 11, 2018 4:40 PM

WAAY 31 first brought you the story of 7-year-old Kayleigh McClendon two years ago when she was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer.

Recently, the family started their own non-profit organization, "Prayers for Kayleigh" Foundation in their daughters memory.

"On May 13th, that was her 7th birthday, we found out that Kayleigh had something called DIPG, diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. It's a terminal brain cancer," said 'Carrow McClendon.

In 2016, the McCledon family was forever changed.

Suddenly, their daughter Kayleigh, was fighting a serious battle.

DIPG is a tumor at the base of the brain. Its also one of the most deadly cancers, with no known cure and a prognosis of about 6 months to live after diagnosis.

"You would think that I'm crazy if I tell you that 6 months was good, but for us it was. Our community rallied around us, our family came together. We had the most amazing treatment at St. Jude," added McClendon.

On November 15th- exactly 6 months and two days after her diagnosis, Kayleigh passed away.

That's when a new journey for the McClendon family started.

"After we lost Kayleigh, starting in 2017, we decided we needed to do something to make a difference. So we started the 'Prayers for Kayleigh' foundation," added McClendon.

In kayleigh's memory, the foundation has one mission, building faith, sharing hope and defeating DIPG. The non-profit raises money for new childhood cancer research.

"We've actually partnered with St. Jude for a new DIPG trial and we're excited. A lot of the money we're raising is going to them," added McClendon.

Less than 1 year ago, Kayleigh's mom 'Carrow, quit her full time job to run the PFK Foundation.

She now plans and prepares several events through the year to raise money for childhood cancer.

"We just have this passion to be able to help. No one should ever hear their child has a zero percent chance, so if we can make a difference, raise that a little bit, that's what the goal is," said McClendon.

Making a difference is what keeps Kayleigh's legacy living on.

"We kind of thought maybe people would forget about Kayleigh, but they havent, this is what we're here to do," added McClendon.

Saturday, Mat 12th, the PFK Foundation is hosting a 5K and fun run for Kayleigh's birthday celebration.

The run will be held at the Hartselle Junior High School at 904 Sparkman Drive,

The race starts at 7:00 AM and there is still time to register for the event.

For registration information or to learn more about the PFK Foundation, visit

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