When Haven was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2012, she was just 2 years old, and her family was shocked. The cancer was found in her adrenal gland and required 8 rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, MIBG therapy, and stem cell transplant. Haven is still recovering from the stem cell transplant, but is back at school and receives chemotherapy every three weeks. While she is doing well, her family knows that she still has a long road in front of her.
After Haven was diagnosed, her mother, Erin, knew that she wanted to do something to help other children like her daughter. They heard about the CureSearch Walk through their hospital, and the event seemed like the perfect fit. They joined the Rocky Mountain CureSearch Walk in 2012 and immersed themselves into fundraising.
They formed the team, Haven’s High Steppers, and recruited family and friends to help them raise essential funds for research. Erin tried to make fundraising fun, creating small competitions between her teammates. She and her friend Erik started a bet about who could raise the most. Erik won in 2012, but Erin beat him in 2013 and is hoping do so again this year.
This competition has helped her team come up with interesting fundraising ideas like the world record breaking event, Shavin’ for Haven. A group of friends offered to shave their heads if they reached their fundraising goal. When they did, they made an event out of shaving their heads and broke the world record for most heads shaved in 1 hour.
All of the team’s hard work paid off, and Haven’s team raised more than $4,000 in their first year. In 2013, they surpassed the previous year by raising more than $11,000, earning them the title of top fundraising team at the Rocky Mountain CureSearch Walk. “Kids can’t do this on their own,” says Erin. “They need help from people like me and all the Walkers out there to raise funds and advocate for them.”
Erin and her teammates are already looking for ways to make the 2014 Rocky Mountain CureSearch Walk a success because they have seen firsthand how important research is to children with cancer.
To learn more about how you can make a difference in the lives of children with cancer, visit www.curesearchwalk.org and sign up today!