Why are we supporting the Holt Brothers Foundation? Because we want to help kids who have a parent with cancer.
Torry and Terrence Holt were NC State football stars who went on to successful careers in the National Football League. Their early years were not easy ones. Torry was 10 and Terrence was six when their mother was diagnosed with lymphoma. Like many households, her cancer was not discussed. Torry and Terrence grew up fearing the loss their mom.
“When you’re that young, you don’t understand,” says Torry. “You don’t understand what cancer is, what it does or why people are sad and upset. I remember lying in bed and crying myself to sleep because you associate cancer with death. I thought my mom would be gone the next day.”
Torry and Terrence’s mom passed away 10 years after her initial diagnosis. Her battle with cancer profoundly impacted both of them. At the time, Torry was a football star at NC State and Terrence was in high school.
When Torry was drafted by the NFL, he made a promise to remember his mom – and the Holt Brothers Foundation was born. The Holt Brothers Foundation is dedicated to supporting children who have a parent with cancer. The Foundation supports KidsCan!, a program that provides education, emotional support, peer empathy and inspiration during monthly group meetings. Working with Duke Cancer Institute, UNC REX Healthcare Cancer Center, Cone Health Cancer Center at Alamance Regional and Siteman Cancer Center, facilitators help kids understand the disease and deal with their emotions. The kids also benefit by knowing they are not alone. The Foundation also supports Camp Kesem, a sleep-away camp for children ages 6–16, all of whom have a parent with cancer. There are local chapters at NC State, Duke and UNC.
“I can’t help but think we could have been better kids if we had something like this growing up. And it would have made our mom feel better,” says Terrence. “All any parent wants for their child is for them to feel happiness and joy.”