You have to be sixteen years old to legally drive a car, eighteen years old to serve the country, you have to be twenty-one years old to drink alcohol, so why don’t you have to be a certain age to get cancer? For Maryville reaches out I volunteered with the nonprofit organization Friends of Kids with Cancer and it really put life into perspective. Friends of Kids with Cancer was started in 1995 as Hats on Day by four 6th grade girls for their friend Kevin Beffa who was battling cancer. Unfortunately, Beffa died just a few days before the first event. Friends of Kids with Cancer continues Hats on Day in his memory and in honor of all the other kids going through cancer. Friends of Kids with Cancer’s mission is devoted to enriching the daily lives of children undergoing treatment for cancer and blood-related diseases.
I went to volunteer the morning of Sept. 13 not knowing what to expect honestly. I knew I would be helping out kids with cancer but I didn’t know that in just a few hours I would have a new perspective for life. The morning started out decorating a box to take to the treatment center that would be filled with lots of books for the kids. We decorated ours with a quote, “Reading is fun, take a book on the run.” We put hearts and animal stickers on it and then we had to go through all of the books and sort out which books would be for what ages.
As I opened a few of the books, I noticed there were notes from other kids to the cancer patients that read, “Get well soon.”- Brody, age 6 or “I hope you feel better in no time.” –Lauren age 8 and it was so sweet to see kids reaching out to other kids.
The day ended with dropping off books at the treatment center and from seeing a 6-month baby with a brain tumor to hearing about a little girl who was diagnosed at age 13 and went to heaven when she was 15, I suddenly wanted to help as much as I could.
Cancer does not discriminate against race, gender, or age; cancer can affect anyone at anytime. It is such a horrible disease but it is so rewarding to be able to help out these kids. Friends of Kids with Cancer made me really appreciate my life at the end of the day and I know that even the worst day isn’t really that bad. It is a great organization and I hope to be back volunteering again soon.