One school. Four shaved heads. Over $1,000 raised for pediatric cancer.
That’s the power of dedication. It’s the same dedication that inspires Becky Harrington to raise awareness for a cancer that affected her daughter Mary Rose, and a disease that still affects so many other children each year.
To get to the point when this picture was taken, we need to go back to why it was taken.
It started four years ago when Becky made a suggestion to her daughter, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
“I was going to let Mary Rose shave my hair off when hers began to fall out. That’s when my friend Sarah Steiner, a coach for the CureSearch Tecumseh Trail Ultimate Hike, reached out to me and suggested we use the opportunity to raise funds and awareness for childhood cancer.”
They thought it was a great idea, so Becky and Mary Rose had their first fundraiser.
Sarah was disappointed that she couldn’t attend because she was doing the Ultimate Hike that same weekend, but the Hike piqued an interest in Becky. Although Becky wasn’t outdoorsy or athletic, she started following Sarah’s Hike journey on Facebook. She saw each post, and how learned how therapeutic it was for families who participate.
“I went from never having heard of CureSearch, to noticing that most of the paperwork regarding my daughter’s protocol was provided by CureSearch. We decided we would dedicate our lives to funding cures, and we knew they were legitimately looking for cures and actively educating families. From then on, our family motto became, ‘We don’t need another teddy bear, we need cures!'”
Fortunately for Becky, her daughter Mary Rose not only survived ALL, she breezed through it with very few complications. She was low risk.
But she saw so many friend’s children struggling with secondary cancers, or not making it through the first one, and she wanted to continue to raise awareness.
Just like a hero comes to the rescue, that’s what Mary Rose’s school and its students did earlier this month. The St. Ann School reached out to the parents, student and faculty to help support CureSearch, and the students organized an awesome event to honor the secretary at school, who was just diagnosed with breast cancer, and to raise money for childhood cancer.
On March 2nd, the St. Ann of Normandy students raised $1224.19 for CureSearch. Four students (including Mary Rose) shaved their heads.
“I was touched that the kids were so generous. They more than doubled their goal. I was very proud of Mary Rose for choosing to shave after just getting her hair back and the boys for thinking of this event.”
To Becky, Mary Rose is her superhero. But so are the many other cancer fighting superheroes who endure painful treatments with a strength that she cannot imagine.
She believes they are the biggest cheerleaders for their friends, and to watch them stand by the side of a dying friend, comforting them through the most frightening thing anyone will experience, with compassion and dignity, it shines a light on the courage and compassion they possess.
The man of steel has nothing on these kids.
Becky vows to continue to spread the word about the importance of children’s cancer research. Because of that, we see her as our superhero.
“We cannot let these children down. 4% of federal funding to research childhood cancers is not enough. We need these children to survive. No child should suffer because there is not a treatment for their cancer. We want to see childhood cancer eradicated and we are willing to work hard to see that accomplished.”
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