There is something very special when children demonstrate compassion and gratitude. Here are the stories of three pre-teens who are passionate advocates for kids with cancer.
Zach walked 14 kilometers from Thirroul to Wollongong in July 2017 and raised over $5,000 for childhood cancer research.
The nine-year-old was inspired to fundraise for science when his friend Mike was having treatment for the disease.
“I saw how sick he was,” said Zach. “I want him to get well and I don't want other kids to suffer like that.”
Zach won the hearts of family, mates and complete strangers as he set about to achieve his goal. Not only did he raise money by telling people about his heroic hike, but through the sale of beautifully crafted drink bottle holders and coasters as well. The creative kid made them himself out of scraps of fabric stitched them together on his mum’s sewing machine.
Zach (right) with his friend Will who joined him and the team on the 14km walk.
The Kids’ Cancer Project were so impressed with Zach’s endeavours, he was invited to a special gathering at Government House Sydney for the launch of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month the September following his walk.
Meeting more children affected by the disease only strengthened his resolve to do more, and so on Australia Day 2018 at the Towradgi Bowling Club, he spoke up to ask everyone to dig deep for science. And he didn’t pull any punches.
“At Government House there was this little girl name Evie around the age of six in a wheelchair who had cancer,” Zach said in his speech. “Just before Christmas I found out she had died. Donate now so more kids can have more happy Australia Days.”
Walk like a man
Australia Day 2018 also brought out the best in a nine-year-old from Western Australia.
James, dressed in his The Kids’ Cancer Project gold t’shirt, cornered the Honorable Donald Terrence (Terry) Redman
at a local event to ask him why the Government is not doing more to fund childhood cancer research.
James with MP Harry Redman
The plucky primary schooler could be forgiven for his bold line of approach as he lost his best mate to neuroblastoma. This year he is giving his all for the cause by trekking 41 kilometers along the Biddulmun track.
“My mate Declan lost his battle with cancer in May 2017,” James shares on his fundraising page
. “I am doing this hike to honour him and his bravery. I would like to raise as much money as possible so the scientists can find a cure for cancer and better treatments for kids.”
Mr Redman was impressed by the boy from Bridgetown and offered his support along with a shout out on his social media
page. “I will be following your progress,” said the Member for Blackwood-Stirling.
He’s not the only one keeping an eye on the young man’s campaign. The whole community is learning about James through local newspaper, radio and television news coverage.
Linda Fagan, Head of Marketing and Fundraising at The Kids’ Cancer Project couldn’t be more proud of her son Harry. Just before his tenth birthday, the bright young man sheepishly handed her a list.
“At first I thought it was a present wish-list,” said Linda. “But as I read the handwritten note, my eyes started to well up.”
They were tears of happiness.
The list Harry had composed was ten points long, one for each of his years on this planet.
HARRY’S 10 THINGS
1. I want to help kids with cancer through mum’s work
2. I met Declan a few times and I cried when he died of cancer, aged 8
3. I’m really lucky
4. I don’t need any stuff (except maybe a new band for my fit bit)
5. I get sad when I hear of the kids mum knows through work and what they go through
6. I love playing with my brother and I bet Brodie misses Declan
7. It’s my birthday and I want to help
8. We can all make a difference
9. I’ll shave my hair off
10. Please donate to The Kids’ Cancer Project
Harry's Before and After shot
“I’ve never pushed the idea of fundraising onto my children,” said Linda. “Yet clearly, hearing about my work and coming along to various events has made a huge impact.”
Just like James of Bridgetown, Declan’s passing spurred Harry on to do something drastic.
On the last day of school in 2017, the shock of blonde hair he’d take so much pride in styling every day was shaved off.
“I’m so grateful at how much we have raised!” Harry said of the $1,400 donated
. “Now we can help kids with cancer.”
Help fund childhood cancer research today.