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Caps for CURE helps fight childhood cancer

 

By Melissa Robinson
Contributing Editor  

  The month of September is designated as Prevent Childhood Cancer Month and Henry County Schools have helped the effort, with many of the schools participating in a program called Caps for CURE, where students donate a $1 or more and get to wear a hat or cap to school for the day.

Monica Edenfield's first grade class at New Hope Elementary School in Locust Grove show off their caps in support of Caps for CURE.                         Photo by Melissa Robinson

  Heather Barr, a Henry County resident and mother who started Caps for CURE, was motivated to find a way to help fund research into childhood cancer after her daughter, Sarah, became ill from Ewing’s Sarcoma, in 2009.

  Ewing’s sarcoma is a primary bone tumor that affects mainly children and adolescents. She said it wasn’t until her family was thrust into the world of childhood cancer with Sarah’s diagnosis that she learned how little money goes into researching and finding treatment and cures for pediatric cancers.

  “I would estimate that between one and four percent of funds donated to cancer research are actually set aside for pediatric research,” she said. “We’re trying to help people realize that childhood cancer research is a separate battle.”

  From last month and through October, several Henry County schools will have participated in Caps for Cure, a non-profit organization started in the county by Barr. Proceeds are donated to CURE, an organization that was started in 1975 at Emory, and is dedicated to saving lives of young cancer patients through research and treatment.

  Monica Edenfield, a first grade teacher at New Hope Elementary in Locust Grove, organized her school’s first Caps for CURE event, held last Friday, which raised approximately $350, to be donated to CURE. She was Barr’s college roommate and became involved upon learning of her friend’s plight. Edenfield’s husband, John, helped to produce the videos used to inspire students to take part in Caps for CURE. 

  “This is the first year for New Hope to participate. Heather started this and she and I are good friends, and it means a lot to be able to reach out to someone,” said Edenfield.

  According to Barr, her daughter was near her 13th birthday when she was diagnosed with cancer. After a multitude of tests, her daughter Sarah went through several rounds of chemotherapy, radiation and surgeries.

  She said it was while helping her daughter through treatment that she learned of the organization CURE and how little of donated funds go into research for childhood cancers. Looking for a way to bring money and more importantly, awareness, she started Caps for Cure. She said that before Caps, students at Locust Grove Elementary gracious raised funds and donated them to her family. The following year, in 2010, Pate’s Creek Elementary was the first school involved in Caps for CURE, and the next year, 14 more schools participated. This year, 23 schools are participating in the effort.

  “Since we started Caps for CURE, Henry County Public Schools, along with two private schools, have raised more than $8,000. This year, we are thrilled to have a total of 24 schools participating. Twenty of these are Henry County public schools, 2 are private schools in the county, and the other two are schools outside of our area,” said Barr. “We set our goal for $5,000 this year, but it looks like we will exceed our goal based on the great response that many schools are reporting from their event.”

  “When someone’s going through something like this, you don’t know how to help them or what to do, maybe call or you bring meals,” said Edenfield. “This is a tangible way to help because it’s going to fight cancer for children and there so little money designated to research for children in particular so it just means a lot that we could help participate. The kids are excited about wearing hats and it’s an easy way for the school and the children to reach out and help.”

  To read about Sarah’s journey and her life now, visit http://journeywithsarah.wordpress.com/. For more information about CURE, visit www.curechildhoodcancer.org, or to donate, log on to https://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/CapsforCURE/2013-cures-kids-conquer-cancer-one-day-at-a-time.

 

 

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