Loving the Power of One

NorthShore's Tyler Bauer accepts a gift to Kellogg Cancer Center from area students.

A sixth-grader at a school in Skokie came up with the idea of having her cross-country team host a fundraising event to benefit NorthShore breast cancer patients. Her plan evolved into holding a run and an ice-bucket challenge whereby students donated funds to see their teachers soaked outdoors in freezing cold temperatures!

It was all for a good cause: $816 was raised for NorthShore Kellogg Cancer Center patients undergoing chemotherapy who lose their hair and can’t afford wigs.

Skokie’s Old Orchard Junior High health teacher and cross-country coach Heather Doane said at least 250 students rallied behind the participants to watch the “DeFeet Cancer” run and ice-bucket challenge. “It was the talk of the school, and a lot of the kids wore pink to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I probably had 100 kids popping into my office to ask how they could help and if we could do this again next year.”

dent Gracie Murphy, 12, came to Doane with the idea for the run, and things took off from there. “I love the power of one,” said Doane. The top runners in each grade raced against each other. A dozen teachers volunteered to be a part of the ice-bucket challenge, and the three teachers who raised the most donations from students “won” the challenge and received a bucket of icy cold water over their heads.

“Kids brought in their piggy banks and spare change,” said Doane. “It was just amazing how so many students became involved in this event.” 

Murphy’s mother, Susan Derex, said her daughter Gracie has been philanthropic for several years. “I think part of it stems from her knowing a dear friend of mine–to her, an “Auntie”—died from cancer about three years ago. There’s just such awareness among kids now. For example, Gracie told me one day, ‘You know, Mom, one in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer.’”

Please click here to learn more about cancer and the programs and services available at Kellogg Cancer Center. Please click here for more information about Community Partner Events, or contact Anne Stretz at 224.364.7275 or astretz@northshore.org.

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