As a sophomore in the International Baccalaureate program at Myers Park High School, I was asked to complete a project that gave me the opportunity to research and create a product on the topic of my choice. I wanted to do something that would make a difference, so I chose to start a Cookies for Kids' Cancer 5K and Bake Sale.
I was inspired by a family friend, Grier, who was diagnosed at 2 1/2 years old with stage-four cancer. Since his diagnosis, Grier and his family fight hard every day to battle this terrible disease. Grier is an amazing little boy, enduring endless rounds of chemo, needles, medicines, and keeps on fighting each day.
His determination and spirit inspired me to do what I can to help raise awareness and find a cure for pediatric cancer so other families do not have to endure this difficult circumstance. The first annual Cookies for Kids' Cancer 5K and Bake Sale took place on St Patrick's Day 2012. On this glorious spring day, we had over 350 runners and raised more than $14,000. Young and old came out to support the cause by opening up their hearts and their wallets.
I continue to be overwhelmed by the generosity and commitment of local businesses, volunteers, friends and family, this event was a success because of their concern and support for children like Grier. The event required countless hours of planning, follow-ups and organization for 6 months, but I can say that the life lessons I take with me from this experience are invaluable. I look forward to this year's event being even bigger and better than the last.