Cindy and child cancer survivors

MADISON (WKOW) -- Hundreds of little kids who beat cancer spent the day at Monona Terrace in Madison painting, playing basketball, and posing for pictures with Supermodel Cindy Crawford.

It's the 4th Kids with Courage event, a five-year reunion for child cancer survivors. Crawford got involved in 1993 as a tribute to her brother, Jeffrey, who died at UW Hospital before his 4th birthday when Crawford was still a kid.

"A lot of little kids, honestly, don't know who Cindy Crawford is, or don't care. That's why I show up with a gift, like a stuffed animal," said Crawford, 42.

We met dozens of kids not shy at all when we asked about their cancer. "This is my scar from my brain tumor," said Anthony, 12, from Mosinee.

"I don't remember what my cancer was," said another boy, a 2nd grader, "but my mom would remember." Crawford says it's important to have these events for child cancer survivors to talk in the open about what they're going through.

"They don't want people tiptoeing around them," she said. Cancer survival rates for pediatric patients have improved significantly in the past several decades, from 30 percent to 80 percent or better today.

In fact, Crawford acknowledged her brother probably would have survived had he come down with cancer today.