Couple Finds Inspiration to Help Others Through Daughter’s Cancer Battle

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Kevin and Emily Ratliff to Speak at Gardner-Webb Dimensions Program on Oct. 6

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—When Kevin and Emily Ratliff’s daughter Claire was diagnosed with stage-four cancer at younger than two years old, an army of friends supported the family in many ways. That support lives on today, more than three years after the young girl passed away, in the form of Claire’s Army, an organization that provides support to families during their battle with childhood cancer.

The Ratliffs will share the inspiration of Claire’s Army with the Gardner-Webb community during Dimensions on Oct. 6, just a few weeks prior to the University’s annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life event Oct. 24. The Dimensions program, which begins at 9:25 a.m. inside the Lutz-Yelton Convocation Center on campus, is free and open to the public.

After Claire passed away in January 2012, the Army was organized in the Charlotte, N.C., area to spread the generosity that the Ratliffs received during their daughter’s battle with neuroblastoma, one of the most common cancers for children.

“Kevin and Emily are examples of faith in action, something we desire all of our students to emulate,” shared Dr. Tracy Jessup, vice president of Christian Life and Service and senior minister to the University at Gardner-Webb. “David Chadwick, pastor of Forest Hill Church in Charlotte, connected me to Kevin and Emily when I shared with him that I was looking for a Dimensions speaker for the week in which we highlight Gardner-Webb University’s upcoming Relay for Life event. Kevin and Emily attend Forest Hill, and David has spoken in Dimensions on several occasions and thought the students would benefit from hearing their story.”

Claire’s Army serves families by providing resources to limit the stresses of daily responsibilities while focusing on their children battling cancer. For more information about Claire’s Army, visit

For more information on Gardner-Webb’s Relay for Life event, visit

The goal of Dimensions is to enhance the spiritual, intellectual and cultural life at the University and to promote a sense of community. More information about Dimensions is available by calling 704-406-4277 or visiting

Auxiliary aids will be made available to persons with disabilities upon request 48 hours prior to the event. Please call 704.406.4253 or email with your request.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University’s purpose is to advance the Kingdom of God through Christian higher education by preparing graduates for professional and personal success, instilling in them a deep commitment to service and leadership, and equipping them for well-rounded lives of lasting impact, Pro Deo et Humanitate (For God and Humanity).