March 2019

Kiara — a Tween with a Mission

At just 12 years old, Kiara was more thoughtful, determined, and philanthropic than most of us. Her grit and grace belied her years. We first met Kiara in late 2017 when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Kiara had endured surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

Cancer was just a part of her story
Kiara was also a dancer, part of her school’s leadership team, and a member of the Women’s Volleyball team at CSUMB.
Through her experiences, Kiara discovered her voice and used it for good. A passionate advocate and champion for children’s cancer awareness, this once timid powerhouse spoke at City Council meetings in Carmel and Pacific Grove. Kiara inspired others to help – raising $700 for Jacob’s Heart in honor of her birthday.
What did Kiara love most about Jacob’s Heart?
She loved receiving cards from volunteers each month, especially when they arrived with pages to color and keep her busy at the hospital. The fun she had at Camp Hearts + Hands, and the thrill of being named Belle of the Ball at the 2018 Golden Gallop were among her favorites. But, what she loved most, was the opportunity to spread awareness about what it’s like to be a kid with cancer.

Kiara and Jacob’s Heart Director of Family Services, Adriana Moody-Jerez, spoke at Kiara’s school with the entire student body present. Kiara spoke openly about her cancer – helping her classmates better understand what kids with cancer go through and allowed them to ask questions. What an empowering and meaningful experience for all!

“She learned her voice mattered and she encouraged others to use their voice as well.”

Brenda, Kiara's Mother