Who We Are
Cars Curing Kids is a group of car collectors and auto enthusiasts who are committed to supporting research and programs for childhood diseases at the American Family Children’s Hospital. The group was founded by Dr. Peter Nichol, a pediatric surgeon at the Children's Hospital when he was inspired by one of his patients: McKenah.
In order to continue to advance research, physicians, researchers and auto enthusiasts have joined together to create a series of events under “Cars Curing Kids.” You can become a board member and join us in the fight, host an event to benefit AFCH, attend one of our events, or make a donation.
McKenah is born prematurely at 29 weeks gestation. Shortly after birth she develops an infection that destroys her entire intestine. She is completely dependent on intravenous nutrition to survive. This condition is termed Short Bowel Syndrome.
That summer McKenah is transferred to the care of Dr. Nichol, an expert in Short Bowel Syndrome at the American Family Children's Hospital in Madison.
Four days after transfer of care, McKenah is fostered by her neonatal nurse (Kris) and her family of three children. They eventually adopt McKenah and provide a loving, enriching environment for her.
Due to Kris's expertise as a neonatal nurse, they are able to keep complications from intravenous nutrition to a minimum for the next three years.
In spite of Kris's expert care and that of AFCH, McKenah succumbs to liver failure, a common and at that time unpreventable complication of intravenous nutrition.
Kris and her husband Jeff make an appointment to see Dr. Nichol. They present him with a series of checks given to Jeff by his co-workers who implore Jeff to start a foundation in honor of McKenah.
A group of automobile enthusiasts are assembled by Dr. Nichol and work is started on forming an organization that will go on to be called Cars Curing Kids (CCK).
CCK holds its first event at RVM Classics in Madison.
CCK hosts its first Cruise, with 40 cars and 40 child graduates of the American Family Children's Hospital.
CCK partners with Tom Haag and Gary Gundlach at the Toy Box Car Show in Stoughton, Wisconsin.
CCK partners with UWF (a 501c3) to establish the Because of McKenah Fund and the Cars Curing Kids Professorship in the Department of Surgery at the University of Wisconsin.
Rock Lake Motors Cars and Coffee partners with CCK.
CCK hosts the Brat Fest Car Show over Memorial Day weekend in Madison Wisconsin.
CCK hosts its second Cruise headlined by Jimmy Vaughn of the Fabulous Thunderbirds.
Car show raising money to fight pediatric diseases
CCK partners again with Tom Haag and Gary Gundlach at the Toy Box Car Show in Stoughton, Wisconsin.
Partnership with Rock Lake Motors Cars and Coffee is renewed.
Mad City Vettes partners with CCK to run the Brat Fest Car Show over Memorial Day weekend in Madison, Wisconsin. Special guest is ARCA racer Natalie Decker.
CCK partners with Tom Haag and Gary Gundlach at the Toy Box Car Sow in Stoughton, Wisconsin.
First grants are awarded by CCK to two individuals for initiatives that will improve the health and healthcare of children in the state of Wisconsin within one to three years.
2018 Grant Winner Dr. Awni Al-subu
2018 Grant Winner Dr. Jonathan Kohler
Partnership with Rock Lake Motors Cars and Coffee is renewed for a third year.
Mad City Vettes again partners with CCK to run the Brat Fest Car Show over Memorial Day weekend in Madison, Wisconsin.
McKenah never got a fair shot. Her birth mother never received the prenatal care she needed. As a result, she came into this world 12 weeks before she was ready. Shortly thereafter, she acquired a severe infection of the intestine. In a matter of days, 98 percent of the intestine was gone. The intensity of the inflammation from the infection in her 3 pound, little body damaged her brain and would leave her unable to even sit up when other kids her age were walking. She would never be able to use her words because she would never talk.
Kris was her neonatal nurse and took care of McKenah almost every day for the first 4 months of her life. When McKenah had no home go to, Kris became her foster mom and then adopted her. Kris’s other kids loved McKenah or McKenley as they referred to her. No one, however, was ever under the illusion that McKenah would live a long or normal life. So they didn’t hold back. For more than 3 years after she left the hospital, they took her everywhere, swimming with dolphins in the Keys, boat rides on the Madison lakes. Endless rides in the stroller when Kris was out running. However, at the age of three, McKenah died on a Monday, at home, loved but a life devastated by a disease that is largely preventable.