When I was in fifth grade a little boy in my class passed away from cancer. It was such a strange and difficult thing to comprehend at such a young age. At ten years old, death is the last thing on your mind.
Ever since then, children diagnosed with cancer has been something that I am truly passionate about. In college I became involved with Up Til' Dawn, which is a collegiate fundraising organization that raises money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (if your campus has one, I'd highly recommend getting involved or participating in their events). St. Jude offers all their care for free and no child is ever turned away. They are also one of the leading hospitals in researching cancer in children and through their research have risen the death rate in many types of cancer.
Last year, a girl in my sister's grade was diagnosed with leukemia. I can't even imagine being diagnosed with cancer my senior year of high school, but she has handled the situation with such grace and strength that I can't even comprehend. Last night, she had her wish granted to take a Mediterranean cruise by the Make A Wish foundation.
I stopped by for a bit just to say congrats and hello (it was mainly people from my sister's grade so I felt kinda old ha). Her sponsors provided pizza and drinks and it was at Centennial Park in Nashville, which has swing dancing on the weekends during the summer. It seemed like everyone was having a great time and Natalie had such a joyful presence to her. Just seeing her made me smile (I honestly haven't talked to her since she was in Middle School!).
If you're interested in donating or becoming involved with one of these organizations here's their links:
Have a great Sunday!