Teens raise money to find cure for classmate’s rare disease
Published: March 8, 2007 | 5701st good news item since 2003
High school students from Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy and West Shore Junior/Senior High School have joined forces to raise money to find a cure for a classmate’s rare blood disorder.
The group, called Kuell’s Cure, will host its second annual “Playing for a Cure” tennis tournament, reception and silent auction on March 10 at Kiwi Tennis Club in Indian Harbour Beach to raise money for the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund Inc. based in Eugene, Ore.
Research for the rare condition, which can lead to bone marrow failure and other cancers, is not government funded, so the foundation relies on money raised by families and friends of those afflicted with the disease.
Last year’s “Playing for a Cure” event brought in $17,650. This year, the group hopes to raise $25,000.
Four West Shore students, Chad Thayer, Stephanie Jensen, Mike Burcham and Carter Davis formed Kuell’s Cure last year as a project for the school’s Community Problem Solving team in honor of a classmate who suffers from the disease.
Thayer transferred from West Shore to Holy Trinity last year and shared the project with his new classmates, Ashley Suchoski and Josh Greenspoon, who were eager to support the cause.
With half of the group graduating this spring, they plan to recruit several juniors into the organization to ensure it continues to raise money to find a cure for the disease.
“It’s really special to leave a legacy behind, to start something that will leave a make a bigger impact in the future, even after I have gone off to college and into my professional career,” Thayer said.
His work for Kuell’s cure has sparked an interest in a career in business or medicine.
Burcham, another founding member, echoed those sentiments, “It’s really opened my eyes to the benefits of volunteering, knowing that my efforts and hard work went toward research to find a cure for a disease that could take someone’s life.”