Thieves Steal Church Money Raised For Toddler With Cancer

Victoria Kezra
A toddler with cancer and her family were getting assistance from their parish until the money was stolen.

Katie Kirkland was devastated when she found out the money her congregation had collected for her daughter with leukemia had been stolen.

Four-year-old Olivia Kirkland was diagnosed with cancer when she was three and unlike most children her age who spend their days playing, she mostly sleeps due to her condition draining her energy.

“She naps around a lot because of the- she takes medicine every night,” said Olivia’s mother Katie.

The family’s church, Church of Christ in Deltona in Florida, has been taking up donations to help the Kirklands pay for Olivia’s medical expenses and household bills.

“I had to quit my job in order to get her to the appointments,” said Katie, whose husband is now the sole breadwinner.

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The donations, which totaled about $1,200, were stolen this past weekend by a pair of thieves that are now in police custody. They are being charged with robbing a string of churches and day care centers since early May. Jessica Ducker, 31, and Daniel Sawyer, 27, were arrested after they left a backpack full of stolen items from one of the daycares in their hotel room. Surveillance video from Church of Christ showed the two stealing from the building carrying the same backpack found in the hotel room.

While some stolen items and heroin were recovered from the thieves, there has been no word regarding the missing donation money. Olivia Kirkland’s congregation remains optimistic though and has started collecting more funds though a Fundly account called “Rescue Olivia.”

“I don’t know what we would’ve done if we didn’t have the church family,” said Katie.

The thieves couldn’t steal their hope. 

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