StuCo honors childhood cancer awareness

Students wear gold to shed light on terminal illnesses


Valerie Benzinger

StuCo gave out gold bracelets to students to show support for those suffering from childhood cancer.

Spirit days and weeks flood school schedules every year, but several are just dress-up days to earn StuCo points or wear pajama pants for a day. StuCo announced a “childhood cancer awareness week” which ran through Monday, Sept. 23 to Friday, Sept. 27. Even though it backs up to homecoming week, gold floods the hallways in support of childhood illness.

“A lot of people don’t understand childhood cancers and how dangerous they are,” anatomy teacher Kelly Lancaster said. “They’re more dangerous than older cancers. Kids suffer a lot more through the treatment. It’s sad to see children’s lives cut short.”

This kind of spirit week wasn’t originally scheduled for this year, but senior project officer Semi Ojerinde wrote a proposal for StuCo adviser Allison Stamey to obtain approval for the week. Ojerinde has seen the effects of childhood cancer and decided not enough people talk about the issue. 

“Raheem Rush, our old student [with cancer], was one of the inspirations,” Ojerinde said. “We realized that no one really ever does talk about childhood cancer awareness and that is unfortunate.”

Each spirit day brings up a different topic, from wearing pajamas in thoughts of kids living in hospitals on Monday to tweeting out a cancer fact on social media for Wednesday. Tuesday challenged students to sign a petition to bring more money to childhood cancer research.

“They only get about 4% of funding from cancer research overall,” Ojerinde said. “It’s a very important issue. They don’t have enough treatments readily available for children. I made sure that people know that they do need funding. I put donation links [up] so [students and staff] can give more to those kids who don’t have enough to pay for treatment.”

Even though the spirit week was added last minute due to approval taking longer than expected, StuCo found success with the charitable cause. All the work and attention was directed to homecoming week, but besides that obstacle, the student body had an impressive turnout to childhood cancer awareness, just in time for the universal awareness month for the topic.

“It’s a little slow, but then again, we have homecoming next week and we’ve been really promoting that,” Stamey said. “At least [we’re] bringing awareness to childhood cancer.”