BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. (WBOY) — At Brickside Bar and Grille in Bridgeport, six Lions’ Clubs comprising Zone Eight presented a gift card to West Virginia University Medicine Children’s Blood Disorders and Cancer Center.

Gift cards worth more than $1,500 were presented to Anita Graham, Program Coordinator for WVU Medicine Children’s Blood Disorders and Cancer Center to help defray the costs incurred by families with children who are patients at WVU Medicine Children’s. WVU Medicine officials said the cards will be used for gas, hygiene items, grocery items, and snacks for the kids.

“One of the global initiatives of Lions Clubs International is childhood cancer. So, even though we here in West Virginia can’t treat children with cancer, or certainly cure, or provide any medical attention, we try to find ways we can help the families and the children that are undergoing treatments,” said Cindy Glass, a long-standing Lions Club member.

WVU Medicine Children’s Blood Disorders and Cancer Center is home to doctors, nurses, researchers, and other specialists who chose careers in pediatric hematology and oncology because they are passionate about helping kids beat cancer. Medical professionals added that studies have shown that patients with cancer and certain blood disorders do better when they have more than one type of treatment and work with more than one expert.

“So, a lot of times our families are away from their home for several days at a time, and so it is really important for them to be able to have some extra support for like groceries, for gas, for meals throughout the time that they are there,” Graham said. “We couldn’t do without having programs like the Lions Clubs to come alongside of us and provide gift cards, or boo-boo bears I think that they have, or quilts. Those are the kinds of things that we don’t always have on hand if we don’t have organizations like the Lions Clubs to provide those for us.”

Childhood cancer is one of five global causes of Lions Clubs International, the world’s largest organization, with 1.4 million members in over two hundred countries.