Avery Doyle, a fifth grade student at Prestonwood Christian Academy (PCA), and a Junior Advisory Board Member for TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation is raising childhood cancer awareness and funds for childhood cancer research within her school and community.
Doyle’s awareness efforts began by starting a team for Destination Imagination at PCA, which is a competition for kids to pick a challenge and work together to accomplish it. Avery is one of seven team members for the Boss Unicorn Heroes DI Team at PCA. Her team chose to do the challenge called “Pitch and Play”, a service learning challenge, where they had to identify a problem in their community, create a way to address the problem and “pitch” their idea to a community partner. The team voted to select TeamConnor as the beneficiary for their project. Many members of the team knew Connor Cruse, a PCA student who lost his battle with cancer and the namesake of TeamConnor. The students wanted to help raise awareness for childhood cancer while honoring the memory of their friend.
“We wanted the money from our project to go to TeamConnor because Connor was a special friend to my brother, Logan,” said Doyle. “Losing Connor made my brother very sad and I don’t want any family or friends to lose someone they love to cancer.”
Boss Unicorn Heroes identified three main areas of focus: environmental health for their community, individual health, and disease awareness prevention. To help the environment, Boss Unicorn Heroes were able to implement a recycling program at PCA with 20 pounds of recycled material already collected during the month of February.
Their largest project focused on individual health and how to make fitness fun for kids. They started with a series of one-hour camps that concentrated on teaching kids their age fun ways to stay fit. The team asked LiveWire to donate their services as part of the community partnership and asked for a small registration fee from participants to meet the goal for the third arm of their project. They were able to plan, recruit, and carry out a fun fitness program while collecting a fee to later be donated to the TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation.
During the third arm of their project, the team presented 10 facts about childhood cancer throughout three fitness sessions. When the program began, the average quiz score was 32% knowledge of childhood cancer but a month later, the scores had increased to 80%. The team delivered the information in a way that the participants could learn and remember it while raising $243.00 for TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation. In the regional competition, Boss Unicorn Heroes team placed third.
Worldwide, a child is diagnosed with cancer every three minutes. In the United States, cancer kills more children every year than AIDS, asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and congenital anomalies combined. Yet, the National Cancer Institute allocates less than four percent of its funds to pediatric cancer research. TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation is dedicated to serving families, building awareness, and raising funds for research to help cure childhood cancer. TeamConnor hosts several events throughout the year to raise funds for childhood cancer research, including the III Forks Golf Classic May 4 and 5; Color Me Green 5K and Caterpillar Dash October 5; Rockin’ Out Childhood Cancer Concert November 1 and Northwestern Clay Shoot November 6. In addition, TeamConnor’s national program, Coins for Kids with Cancer, raises funds in schools, churches, offices and organizations to help fund childhood cancer research. For more information on how to impact the lives of those affected by childhood cancer please visit teamconnor.org or find us at Facebook.com/TeamConnor.
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