Malachi Trimble's arrival Thursday on the fifth floor of Kadlec Regional Medical Center was more lighthearted than his usual visits.
For 18 months, the 12-year-old Kennewick boy has been undergoing chemotherapy there to fight leukemia.
This time he showed up with an oversized check for $6,500 to give back to the hospital that is working so hard to save his life.
Shortly after arriving at the Don and Lori Watts Pediatric Center, Malachi handed over the symbolic check to Bill Stahl, chairman of the Kadlec Foundation, the fundraising arm of the hospital.
The check was the proceeds from a benefit, Wing Wars and Cruisers to Cure Kids Cancer, held in October at Kennewick's City Church. Malachi's parents, Tom and Joan Trimble, are lead pastors at the church.
The fifth floor of Kadlec is an area the Trimble family knows well. In May 2010, Malachi was diagnosed with leukemia.
Since then, he has been alternating chemotherapy treatments at Kadlec with trips to Seattle's Children's Hospital, where he receives spinal taps to check his white blood count and additional therapy.
When Malachi was diagnosed, his parents split their household. Joan Trimble and Malachi moved into the Ronald McDonald House in Seattle for 10 months while Tom Trimble and their eldest son "batched it" at home.
Without help from the uncompensated care assistance fund that Children's Hospital guilds founded and maintain, the Trimbles would have been hard-pressed to maintain two households.
"Just the gas back and forth was a strain," said Tom Trimble. "Last November, I think we put 2,000 miles on the car."
Malachi still has another 18 months of treatments ahead of him, but the Desert Hills sixth-grader remains energetic.
Drawing on their experience with long-distance medicine, the Trimbles suggested the church do a fundraiser to help children with cancer and their families.
"There was no hesitation, everyone said yes," said Tom Trimble.
After a lot of brainstorming, they came up with the hot wings competition among Tri-City restaurants and the classic car, truck and motorcycle show.
Learning that Kadlec had just established a pediatric oncology unit, everyone involved decided the hospital's uncompensated care fund was a natural fit. The fund helps families defray costs.
"This is a wonderful gift. I can't think of a better choice for this money to go to," Stahl said. "Without contributions from the community to this fund it would be much harder for families to afford the cancer treatments their children need."
This is the second year City Church has held a Wing Wars and Cruisers to Cure Kids Cancer event. The first year, they raised $6,250.
"We hope to make this an annual event," Tom Trimble said.