Posted: July 26, 2016
At a very young age, Candace Powell was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called LCH (Langerhans cell histiocytosis). Her doctors didn’t expect her to live long after undergoing very extreme treatment procedures, but by some miracle, she overcame the disease.
Candace first heard about CureSearch for Children’s Cancer through her oncologist, Dr. Tebbi. He told her of all that CureSearch does to end children’s cancer, and their efforts to raise money to drive innovative pediatric cancer research. This made her eager to become involved with CureSearch.
Now, at age 17, Candace is hosting her very own CureSearch fundraiser. It is a 5K run which will take place in her hometown, Sarasota Florida.
We asked Candace a few questions about herself and her fundraiser:
Q. How did you become aware of the need for children’s cancer research?
A. I became aware of the need for children’s cancer research when my own disease was misdiagnosed by a doctor. Because of this event, I realized the need for more time and money to be devoted to children’s cancer research.
Q. Tell us more about your event and a little about your experience planning it.
A. I am organizing a circus-themed 5K and 1-mile fun run in the Sarasota-Manatee County Area. I began planning this event in February because I wanted to make sure I made an impact in these children’s lives. I understand how important it is for people to be aware and support CureSearch, so I decided to become creative. Many ideas were thrown around, but we decided on circus! We also decided to have the event in August, the month prior to Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Q. What do you think the public should know most about children’s cancer?
A. Every day 43 children are diagnosed with cancer and 12% of these children do not survive. I am thankful for the low number, however I am not content with the fact that children are dying to cancer, period. Research and fundraising is conducted to decrease the fatalities as a result of cancer, and by uniting in our community we can work to overpower the disease.
Q. Why did you decide to support CureSearch?
A. I am a patient of Dr. Cameron Tebbi, who mentioned CureSearch to me. He told me of the events they hold to raise money and awareness. When I learned more about CureSearch, I immediately wanted to volunteer and support the organization. I am a survivor of the disease Langerhans cell histiocytosis, so I want to raise support for other children fighting against cancer.
Q. How have you supported CureSearch in the past?
A. 2014 was the first year I became involved in CureSearch. I was given the opportunity to share the story of my fight against cancer, and I helped gain support for the event. In 2015 I became the Activities and Entertainment Chairperson for the CureSearch Tampa Bay Walk. I expanded my volunteer group and had even more supporters participate in the walk with me. This year I am organizing my own event and acting as the Activities and Entertainment Chairmen again for the Tampa Bay walk.
Q. What would you tell someone who wants to start their own event to support CureSearch?
A. Starting your own event to support CureSearch is a great opportunity and is also very manageable. It is meaningful to be able to help children in the fight of their lives. Everyone at CureSearch is also very helpful. They are more than willing to answer any questions and help with event logistics. It is exciting to plan your own fundraiser. It is fulfilling to understand that the work you are putting in will be beneficial and helpful in someone else’s life.
Q. Why do you think donors should support CureSearch and its mission to fund children’s cancer research and provide educational resources for families?
A. Donors should support CureSearch and its mission to fund children’s cancer research because it is an organization that uses research to help children diagnosed with cancer. CureSearch gives people many different options to assist the organization in their mission to end children’s cancer.
In addition to planning this fundraiser, Candace stays very active with other activities. Her hobbies include running, rowing, and working out. She’s also very involved in her school and is a member of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, a very rigorous course load for students who seek to earn college credit.
“A short term goal of mine is to get into the University of Florida. I am already working hard to make this dream a reality. Several of my long term goals include conducting research on children’s cancer and other childhood diseases, as well as making a difference in the community and other people’s lives.”
We have a feeling that Candace is going to do big things in life, not only for herself, but for children’s cancer research.
If you would like to become involved in the fight to end children’s cancer, go here to get started with your own fundraising event.
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