NewsHillsborough County


New Florida license plate raising money to beat childhood cancer

3,000 pre-orders needed to start production
Florida Plates
Posted at 3:37 PM, Feb 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-28 10:01:40-05

OLDSMAR, Fla.  — For many of us a license plate is something you put on the back of your car and don’t think about. But for one non-profit organization, they've spent years working for a specialty license plate that could save children’s lives.

The “800 Days” tattoo on Kyle Matthews bicep is in memory of his son, who was only alive for 800 days.

“My wife and I lost our son Ezra in 2010 to Neuroblastoma cancer, he was an amazing kid, he was two-years-old when he died,” said Matthews.

Shortly after his death Matthews, along with Savannah Billett, teamed up to create the Beat Childhood Cancer Foundation.

“And really our goal has been exactly what our name was, to beat childhood cancer,” said Matthews.

“It’s important because these kids need us, these families need us, you hear the words, ‘your child has cancer,’ and it’s devastating,” said Billett.

One of those families in need is Melissa Childers and her four-year-old daughter Emily, who has been living with cancer since she was 11-months-old.

“You think it’s rare until it’s your child and then it’s not rare anymore and you meet all the families that have been affected and there’s so many,” said Childers.

In order to continue helping kids like Emily, for the past four years Beat Childhood Cancer has been lobbying the state for a specialty license plate that would raise money and awareness for the disease.

“You actually have to get a bill passed, you have to get a member of the house and senate to both co-sponsor that bill, then push it through,” said Matthews.

Finally, late last year, the plate was approved. The designs were already made.

“The whole thing is gold because gold is the ribbon color for childhood cancer and it has a little kid who is bald and you can tell that that kid is fighting cancer,” said Matthews.

Matthews and Billett are now desperate to get the word out. The state needs 3,000 pre-orders to start production. The plates cost $35 a year.

“The money from the Beat Childhood Cancer plate goes directly to helping kids beat cancer, to creating options, to finding cures,” said Matthews.

To order a Beat Childhood Cancer license plate click here.