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Mar 042019

Courageous Kidz Founder/Director, Deborah “Flash” Stephenson was born and raised in East Aurora, New York. Debby moved to Charleston in 1967 and was married for over 40 years to Charles William Stephenson (Charlie). Sadly, Charlie passed away in 2018. Debby has two beautiful daughters, Stephanie and Meg, and three stepchildren, Karin, Victoria and Billy. Debby is Gramma to her “perfect” grandchildren, Blake, Katie and Ben, and she is “FLASH” to her extended families who are dealing with the devastating effects of childhood cancer.

Debby was a Realtor for 13 years; earning her Graduate Realtors designation in 1976 along with her broker’s license. She was a Million Dollar producer for eight years and at one time had her own agency with five agents. As State Chairman of the “Make America Better” Committee for the South Carolina Association of Realtors, Debby originated Camp Happy Days as the State project in October of 1982. The first camp was held the following year in 1983. From 1982 to 1984, the camp project won national recognition by the National Association of Realtors.

2005 brought about some changes to the leadership of Happy Days and Special Times. Debby’s husband Charlie was diagnosed with cancer and both she and Charlie had to stay in Boston for over three months while Charlie received life-saving Proton Radiation treatments. Upon their return to Charleston, Debby found that the Board of Happy Days and Special Times had decided to relieve her of her duties. After leaving Happy Days, Debby continued to receive phone calls and emails from families desperate for help. Believing the old adage, “the person who won’t be beat, can’t be beat,” Debby created Courageous Kidz, Inc., A Safe Haven for Kids with Cancer and their Families….giving the Magic of Hope!

Debby “Flash” is unlike anyone you’ll ever meet.  Her unorthodox approach to helping families in crisis and her uncanny ability to problem solve by thinking outside of the box endears her to all of the Courageous Kidz families.  Debby’s infectious enthusiasm mixed with uncanny business savvy keeps the Courageous Kidz Board of Directors motivated to grow and expand their current programs.  It’s this powerful blend of her heart and soul that has enabled Courageous Kidz to thrive even in economic adversity.

Courageous Kidz, Inc. is a non-medical organization that focuses on families devastated by childhood cancer. “The child has the disease, the family has the cancer.” The challenges that present themselves to these families is never-ending with long-term side effects, financial havoc, insurance conflicts, marriage conflicts; the list is endless. The goal of Courageous Kidz, Inc. is to “pick up the pieces”, when life goes awry, restore normality and give the Magic of Hope! Courageous Kidz is a Safe Haven for Kids with Cancer.  We are exceptionally proud that 95.3% of all donations we raise go directly to funding our programs.  Since its inception, and with Debby’s guidance, Courageous Kidz has grown dramatically and serves over 150 children. 

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