High school sophomore raises $6,000 for children’s cancer research through the
Virtual Baxter Trails CureSearch Hike, founded by Harlan’s Heroes
When Elyse Johnson, a sophomore at Charlotte Country Day School, learned that a family friend, Margaux, had been diagnosed with childhood cancer, specifically stage 4 Wilm’s tumor, she knew she wanted to do something to help. Determined to make a difference, she researched what a 15-year-old could do to help and learned about the Baxter Trails CureSearch Hike, an annual fundraising event benefitting CureSearch for Children’s Cancer. Hiking 12 miles in one day and raising $5000 seemed overwhelming, but Elyse and her dad quickly decided to give it a go.
Despite being one of the youngest hikers, Elyse quickly emerged as a top fundraiser for the event. During the COVID-19 quarantine, she refined her digital art skills and uses them as a fundraiser; donors send her a photograph and she transforms it into a one-of-a-kind, hand-drawn portrait. This September, which is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, she plans to increase her fundraising efforts in support of CureSearch’s efforts to deliver new, less toxic treatments.
To ensure the safety of the hikers, this year’s event is now virtual, and Elyse has leaned in and strengthened her resolve to help kids across the country who desperately need better treatment options.
“I think during these uncertain times, people like to see people being kind, thinking of others besides themselves and making a positive impact,” said Elyse, “Spending this time with my dad, and incorporating my love for art at the same time as contributing to a great cause is a win-win in my mind. I have been so inspired that I hope to build on this year after year, continue hiking, and grow my fundraising goal each year. I’m just getting started!”
To register for the 2020 Virtual Baxter Trails CureSearch Hike, visit ultimatehike.org/baxtertrails
To support Elyse’s fundraising efforts, visit curesearchevents.org/goto/elyse
CureSearch for Children’s Cancer works to end childhood cancer by driving targeted and innovative research with measurable results in an accelerated time frame. CureSearch focuses on advancing the strongest research out of the laboratory and into clinical trials and development, where better, less-toxic treatments can quickly help children.