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St. Louis Ironworkers’ Gesture for Young Cancer Patient Spurs Union to Raise $10,000 for Family

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It began with two construction workers waving to a two-year-old cancer patient, isolated in a Children’s Hospital room. Then one day, they took a few seconds to write “get well soon” on a steel beam they were placing on a new construction opposite her window.  A friendship was sparked.

The pair of Ironworkers Local 396 members, Travis Barnes and Greg Combs, told the story to KSDK:

When Vivian Keith, the young girl, was finally healthy enough to get out of isolation she was greeted by Barnes and Combs, who brought her some presents and formally introduced themselves to the Keith family.  But the story doesn’t end there.  

When Combs and Barnes found out the Keith family was in financial distress as a result of their daughter’s condition, they took the effort one step further by rallying their fellow union brothers and sisters for a fundraiser. At a south St. Louis restaurant this past weekend, $10,000 was raised for the Keith family.  

There is simply no limit to how touching the details of this story are:

“They just said they did it because they’d stop, realize where they are, and see all the kids waving,” Keith said. “I guess Greg really took an interest in Vivian.

“He said he saw this little girl in the window and when she wasn’t there, he missed her and I thought that was just the sweetest thing.”


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