Students rally in fight against cancerAllison Holen knows how scary cancer can be after her mother was diagnosed with the disease when she was starting fourth grade. Luckily, her mom’s a survivor.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
Allison Holen knows how scary cancer can be after her mother was diagnosed with the disease when she was starting fourth grade. Luckily, her mom’s a survivor.
Alyssa Lawrence wasn’t as lucky. She said her aunt had cancer three times when she died.
Both Bryant Elementary fifth grade students were among nearly 150 fourth and fifth graders to take steps for life as the school held its first mini Relay for Life on Thursday.
The event was coordinated by school assistant Beth Paquette, who participates in the annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life in Douglas County, which will be held July 10 at Wessman Arena. Paquette got involved last year after two of her friends were diagnosed with breast cancer.
She said when she had the opportunity to organize the mini relay at the school where she works, she decided to stay small, but she hopes to expand next year and include students at schools district wide, and create a mini version of the event on school grounds. This year students walked to Tower Avenue and headed to Webster Park before heading toward the village of Superior and back to the school, sporting T-shirts they’d earned through their fundraising efforts.
Students raised about $1,300 for American Cancer Society this year, Paquette said. Students in Penny Hudson’s fifth grade class raised $600, and one class of kindergarten students raised about $75, she said.
“They’ve done a phenomenal job,” said Joni Tauzell, senior community relations for the American Cancer Society. “This is awesome … Beth did a phenomenal job putting this all together.”
However, the students’ lessons didn’t end with philanthropy. Paquette said the students also learned about the disease and the health curriculum provided information on how to prevent cancer through diet, exercise and staying drug and tobacco free. And Thursday, they took their message to streets in South Superior as they carried signs and walked to share the lessons they learned.
“Cancer is worse than you think, once you really get into it. There’s a lot of ways to get cancer – tongue cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer and everything,” said one of the fifth grade team captains, Emily Johnson.
“I learned that it’s hard for people with cancer, because my aunt had cancer three times and the third time she died,” Lawrence said. She said she was proud to walk for the American Cancer Society and to go around her neighborhood to get donations for the cause.
Holen said she plans to participate in the Douglas County Relay for Life when it’s held July 10.
“People should just do it,” said Hannah Denninger, a captain of a fifth grade team.