It all began with the sale of some T-shirts. The students had agreed to raise money for the Cancer Care Fund at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Little did they realize how passionate they’d become about their cause.
These students are members of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), an after school organization at Amherst Regional High School. Said their advisor, Missy Shea, “The project was an eye-opener and a heart-opener. As the students went out into the community to sell T-shirts and raise donations to offset the cost of making the shirts, they came back with stories.”
“I never realized how many people have dealt with this disease,” said a student who sold T-shirts at his church. “This businessman donated $100 because his wife had cancer,” reported another. Still another FBLA member said, “At first, I was really into the sales aspect. I just wanted to bring in $10 for every T-shirt. But the more people I talked to, the more I realized, ‘We can really make a difference in our community.’” This year, students presented a $3,000 check to Cooley Dickinson Hospital’s Cancer Care Fund, which assists patients of limited means.
Funds helped one patient pay for travel to get to her treatments. They’ve assisted other patients with the cost of heating oil. Monies have even helped a terminally ill man realize his final wish: to die at home. It was the height of summer; the man lived in a trailer without air conditioning. The fund paid for an air conditioner, so he could die comfortably, at home and in peace.
James Kirwan, age 17, lost his mom to cancer when he was just 14.
“The fund-raiser showed us that every person, even a ninth grader, can make a difference,” Kirwan said. “We can educate a school and raise money for a cause — one that no one should have to go through alone.”
At Amherst Regional, the Future Business Leaders of America are making the Cancer Care fund-raiser an annual event.
By making a gift to Cooley Dickinson, you help us to provide better care and add needed services that benefit you, your family, and everyone in our community. Thank you for your generosity and commitment to the health of our community.