Today is a very important day! I have mentioned in previous posts that I am extremely passionate about supporting kids with pediatric cancer. I am a recent graduate of The Ohio State University where I was a member of BuckeyeThon, the largest student-run philanthropy which raises funds and awareness for the Hematology/Oncology and BMT Department of Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
BuckeyeThon hosts a variety of events throughout the year, which culminate in its signature event: the Dance Marathon, a celebration full of hope and fun for the BuckeyeThon Families, dancers, and supporters. Last year, BuckeyeThon empowered Ohio State students to raise $1.2M For The Kids!
As a alumna I am still committed to making a difference for the kids treated at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and will be participating in the 2016 BuckeyeThon Dance Marathon. Today, BuckeyeThon and the Ohio State community are striving to raise $100,000 in 1 day but we need your help!
I kindly ask you to read my story about the girl who changed my life and inspired me to become the individual that I am today. I truly appreciate any donations and welcome you to share my story with family, friends and coworkers. I hope to inspire and encourage you to join me because together we can truly make a difference FOR THE KIDS!
My passion for these kids began when I signed up to volunteer at Nationwide Children’s Hospital the summer before my freshman year of high school. I started in a small role as a desk receptionist for my first summer but little did I know how big of an impact Nationwide Children’s Hospital would have on myself and my future. I continued volunteering as a receptionist for my second summer, then as art cart volunteer my third and finally during my senior year of high school I decided to volunteer year round on the Oncology/Hematology and BMT unit; this is where my world would be changed forever by one girl.
Her name was Erica and she was 18 years old and fighting small cell ovarian cancer. The first time I met with her we played Monopoly Deal, ate Jolly Ranchers and told each other our stories. This was the beginning of our beautiful friendship.
Each week I would visit with Erica and other patients on the J5 unit and each week I grew more passionate about these kids and teens fighting for their lives. Erica was a girl from a small country town with the biggest heart. She was not mad or sad that she had cancer but instead she was an inspiring 18-year-old with goals and dreams. Her family was kind, loving and grateful for my compassion and friendship during their hard time and I was grateful for them too.
It looked like Erica was on the road to recovery and beating cancer until her condition took a sudden turn for the worst. After learning that her cancer had spread to other parts of her body she was only given two weeks to live. Erica’s mom invited me to see her in her last weeks and it was one of the hardest situations I have ever faced. During my visit, despite the side-effects from the drugs and pain Erica was in, she acknowledged me and gave me a small gift as a thank you for my friendship. In that very moment I knew that I was always going to fight for these kids and teens because they have dreams just like me. After Erica’s death, I committed myself to doing whatever I could to make a difference in the lives of kids affected by pediatric cancer.
Because of Erica, I found BuckeyeThon and all the organizations I have volunteered with. I have met kids and their families that have changed my life, I have made lifelong friendships with others who are just as passionate but above all I have made a difference, but I am not done.
It took ONE person to make a difference in my life and inspire me to make a difference in the lives of others. Now, I hope to inspire others to make a difference For The Kids. Every kid deserves to grow up, experience a fulfilling life, and make a difference in the world. Today, I am asking for you to donate to my personal fundraising page and join me in my efforts to keep my promise and continue to fight FOR THE KIDS!
Today I dance for my heroes Erica, Sean, Hannah, Riley and ALL the kids that continue to inspire me. Please consider joining me in the fight to change their lives!
Donate & Learn More:
I sincerely thank you for your willingness and wish to help me in my fundraising efforts, and I hope you feel just as connected to this cause and movement as I do!