Burn victim to present check to Shriners Hospital before Reds game
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Xavier sophomore Kilee Brookbank is giving back to the hospital that helped her get through one of the worst times in her life.
Kilee survived after her house exploded and spent more than a month in Shriners Hospital.
Before the Reds throw the first pitch to the Red Sox Friday night at Great American Ball Park, Kilee will take the field and hand off a check to board members from Shriners Hospital, a token of her appreciation, dedication, and perseverance.
In November 2014, Kilee got home from school and lit a candle to mask a bad smell.
Her life was never the same.
An undetected gas leak caused the explosion, landing her in Shriners Hospital.
Second- and third-degree burns covered 45 percent of her body.
"It was tough," Kilee said. "It was a long 38 days, but I was very grateful for the care that I received. It was amazing care. My family and I were just so grateful."
So grateful that six months after she got home, Kilee decided she had to give back.
"There was a lot of stuff that we just felt like we needed to repay Shriners for, and since they are a donation based hospital, we really wanted to do something that could help them and benefit other children who are in my situation."
On Aug. 28, her foundation held the third annual Kilee Gives Back golf outing.
This year she'll present Shriners board members with a check for more than $74,000.
The last two years the same outing raised a combined $100,000.
Since 2015, she and her family have donated more than $170,000 to Shriners.
And there's no sign of Kilee slowing down anytime soon.
"We plan to keep going until forever," she said. "We've never thought about it. Every single year, we're trying more and more to get more people and raise more money. So, we're just hoping that it can continue on for a long time."
At the end of October, Shriners will name one of its on-site family suites after Kilee.
Kilee is also a published author.
A portion of the proceeds from her book "Beautiful Scars" is being donated to the hospital.
Next year, she'll release her first children's book about her dog who saved her from the fire that destroyed her home.