Community Project:Support for Finding a Cancer Cure
Frederick Douglass Academy VIII is a middle school that places an emphasis on students learning how they can help to create a better world through the performance of community service.
Last Tuesday, FDA VIII’s students wearing pink tops, “Walk for the Cure” t-shirts and school uniforms, circled the blocks surrounding their school in Spring Creek Towers carrying signs and chanting “Breast cancer, breast cancer … Let’s find a cure!”
Close to 200 students and their teachers participated in the school’s fourth annual neighborhood walk in support of “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer,” the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) nationwide public awareness and fundraising campaign. Approvingly, onlookers waved their hands and drivers honked their horns as the student demonstration passed by them.
Kathleen Yearwood, the event’s coordinator and FDA VIII Supervising School Aide, said they walked with purpose, “A lot of the students have family members who have cancer, and so participating in the walk is their way of giving back and doing their part in finding a cure.”
Gazaria Moore, 12, is personally aware of why generous funding is needed by medical science to discover a cancer cure; she walked in honor of her aunt who is a breast cancer survivor. Moore believes every dollar counts. Many students her age do not know how much their donation could help, she says. “Even if it’s donating some of your allowance or afterschool money, it’s worth it. We need to all step up and donate… I think that this is an important cause.”
Eighth grader Shaquan Lawson began participating in walks to raise money while in elementary school. He knows about breast cancer because of the distressing effects chemotherapy treatments have had on his grandmother. Lawson said he will do whatever he can to help make a difference for her and others suffering with the disease. “If I can do it, anyone can,” he said.
Holding her “We Care” sign up high as she walked with classmates, Kaylin Williams did so with personal knowledge of what having breast cancer means. The 13-year old said she often accompanies her 65-year old grandmother to the doctors for treatments.
“Everyone can help [to raise or donate money], they can have a bake sale, walk with the American Cancer Society or make bracelets and sell them … these things anyone can do at any age,” explained the teenager who empathetically pointed out, “There are many cancers that kill people every day. We shouldn’t only help fight breast cancer.”
Through the ongoing fundraising efforts and events conducted by ACS in partnerships with schools, civic groups, churches and individuals, the organization has raised millions to fund biomedical research, oncology care and patient services.
BY: AMANDA MOSES
AGNES E. GREEN
Photos: Amanda Moses