The thought of losing a child is every parent’s worst nightmare. Unfortunately for Vikki Grady, that nightmare is a reality.
The death of a child is the most devastating feeling that a parent can have. Plenty of mourning takes place and life is forever changed.
Most importantly, how do you move on?
Vikki found peace by establishing a foundation in her son’s behalf. With great support from family and friends, especially from her other son Lane, the Lance A. Grady Foundation was born.
Lance Grady was a Commerce City resident who attended and graduated Adams City High School. In fact, his family has four generations of living in the community.
For as long as many knew him, he was the type of person to always lend a hand, regardless if there was any benefit.
He received a football scholarship to New Mexico State University. Upon completing his tenure there, he came back home and has been home ever since.
Then at Halloween in 2011, Lance checked into the hospital with a 104.3-degree temperature, experiencing flu-like symptoms. He was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and a rare lung disorder, Diverse Alveolar Disease.
Eight days after being admitted to the hospital, he passed away. Vikki wanted to make sure that he was remembered as a person who was loving and caring.
“Lance was a loving person, and an overall nice guy,” Grady said of her son. “He was a person that would help anyone.”
An example story Vikki gave was one when a person was going to lose its dog. Lance gave the person his address and took over the dog until the person was in a better position to take back the dog.
“I didn’t know this story until about a year ago, but hearing the story makes sense,” Vikki said. “That is the kind of person he was.”
Lance was a huge Broncos fan and was an avid water skier. From a young age, he spent countless summer days at the lake.
He worked for more than 12 years for Adams County Parks and Recreation, maintaining the trails and working on the annual Adams County Fair.
Because of his connection to sports and Adams City, it was totally clear what his foundation should benefit.
“The thing we asked ourselves was what he would do,” Vikki said. “We wanted to keep his legacy alive by doing what he would have done and that is to give back. We want to help kids that have a need and want to play sports, but can’t afford it. Whether it be the athletic fee, or equipment, we want to help anyway we can.”
In addition to giving back, the Foundation would also like to educate about leukemia and the seriousness of this disease.
“You never really hear about leukemia anymore,” Vikki said. “I thought there was a cure for it. I was surprised about how much I didn’t know about this horrible disease. I wanted to make sure the foundation explains about leukemia so people are not in the same position I was in.”
The Lance Grady Foundation has partnered with Adams 14 School District to act as an aid or resource for anything they may need. ACHS Athletic Director Damian Brown is very excited to work with the Lance Grady Foundation.
“Lance will always and forever be an Adams City Eagle,” Brown said. “I look forward to our new relationship with their foundation and the positive effect it will have towards the Adams City athletic program. We also want to do our part to keep Lance’s love of sports and legacy alive.”
Those that are interested in donating to the Foundation may visit www.lancegrady.org. There, you may read about Lance’s story, the foundation’s mission and upcoming fundraiser events.
The next fundraiser event is Saturday, Sept. 28, for the Light the Night Walkathon for Leukemia.
Contact Anthony Arroyo at firstname.lastname@example.org.