YORK—Breast cancer, like any other type of cancer, is expensive; but every fundraiser – large or small, money or item – can make an impact on a cancer patient’s life.
York FFA has rallied around this cause in observance Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October). The group has organized a 5K run/walk Saturday, October 24 to raise money for Velvet’s Totes for Hope, a nonprofit that supports breast cancer fighters, survivors and their families. Totes for Hope’s mission is to minimize the stress and anxiety treatment days, by providing a tote stuffed with items a might want or need during the difficult, often draining treatment. The aim Totes for Hope is to uplift spirits and to support – and so is York FFA’s.
“A lot of people don’t have a lot of knowledge about how this actually affects patients and their families,” said Rachelle Staehr, York FFA advisor.
Sophomore York FFA member Cole Schmid said any way cancer patients can be helped is important. “It’s good that FFA is doing this – breast cancer is a well-known cause,” he said.
Treating breast cancer can cost well over $100,000. A 2016 study posted on the U.S. National Institutes of Health website states that costs are largely dependent on what stage of cancer the patient is in. Within two years, the study found, the average costs allowed by insurance companies for Stage I can be over $60,000 while Stage IV on average is covered over $180,000. Treatments can far exceed these insurance numbers, especially considering cancer expenses the average person might not think of.
Some smaller fundraiser may seem like a drop in the proverbial bucket, but every penny counts. One registration could cover a tank of gas for a patient’s transportation to treatment. Another registration could put a dent in a cancer patient’s medication co-pay.
A tote filled with items showing someone cares can make a cancer patient’s day.
York FFA’s cause is about showing breast cancer patients they are loved – even if the recipient of the Tote for Hope doesn’t know the person making the donation. The students and their advisors have decided on a $750 fundraising goal. As of October 22, Carve Out Cancer had about 20 people registered. Registration is online until October 23, but Staehr said they would accept registrations the day of the event. “If registering the day of, we ask that they come at 8 a.m.,” she said. Running or walking isn’t required to participate in the event. Registrants will be treated to breakfast and a group pumpkin-carving session.
Schmid said that while breast cancer hasn’t yet affected anyone he knows first-hand, that doesn’t make the cause any less important to him. “It’s scary to know anybody can be affected by this.”
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