Students get creative in collecting funds for cancer

Nia Embry, Staff Writer

“Everyone’s touched by cancer. It does not matter whether someone immediately in your family ever had it or not…, it affects everyone,” Coach Akin, of the girls’ softball team, and sponsor of the Relay For Life says. Here at Parkview, there is a way students and teachers alike can get involved help to put an end to cancer altogether. Once a year, during the end of October, Relay For Life, a club that raises money and holds many of the schools’ fundraisers, puts up flyers and posters around the school notifying everyone that they can donate. As well as over the intercom, the morning announcements. Change wars are the name given for this certain donation. It is the battling of advisements to raise the most money in change for their grade to get the reward of an ice cream party. Akin says , “ A hundred percent of the change then go to the American Cancer Society. Last year we had 10 teachers participate, and we raised almost 800 dollars, 10 teachers is not a lot of teachers, but eight hundred dollars is a lot of money… we have over three thousand students in the school… that could help a lot of people.” Akin claims that the goal is not far-fetched, and says, “Like you simply, just have to have a conversation and build a relationship with your kids, and they want to give.” For the Sophomore advisement, Mrs. Almond, who teaches chemistry, has won for not just this year but last year as well. “I’m so glad that they contributed to a good cause and they weren’t really concerned about their reward, they really did want to contribute after I told them my story and how it affected me personally.” On March in 2011, Almond’s mother was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic lung cancer. “She never smoked a day in her life, she had no symptoms, when she went to a normal routine physical,… she had an irregular heartbeat, and when they did some further tests, they found a mass in her lung.” She explains how her mother had tongue cancer before and the doctors told her that she had a 2% survival rate. “She chose to actually have ¼ of her tongue removed, and she was able to beat that cancer, and so she thought that if she tried the chemotherapy and radiation, she would get another miracle this time as she did then, but that didn’t happen,” Almond says. Cancer has no limitations. The American Cancer Society or their website,, states that all invasive sites at risk for developing cancer for men are 39.66% and for women 37.95%. The doctors gave Almond’s family the notice that her mother would pass away in 4 months after being diagnosed. Her mother died four months to the day later, at the age of 65. “She had a full life, one of the most joyful people that I knew, and she was surrounded by friends and family.” Like what Akin said would help with raising more awareness, Almond had a deep conversation with her students and told them her story. This helped them feel inspired and encouraged to donate. Not only that, but they also told of their own stories. Almond says, “I let them know of my story and so then I asked them if they’re comfortable to volunteer any stories about how cancer has touched them, and at first they’re timid and don’t want to share, but after hearing my story, they will go around and share and find that they either know someone personally or friends and then it makes it a bit more meaningful”. Being able to relate is a sad but enlightening thing as to be able to relate helps with not feeling so alone. “The change adds up after a while,” Almond stated. She encourages students to donate and advises, “You never know what is coming down the line for you in the future, so whatever research people can do in the future, it may be helping you on down the line, whether you know it or not”.It is highly encouraged that students, regardless of if they have been affected or not, help and donate for this cause.