Students show support by raising funds for breast cancer research
McKenzie Jackson / © 2008 CrossRoadsNews | 11/8/2008, 1 a.m.
When Miller Grove Middle School students found out last year that assistant principal Dawn Blackwell had breast cancer, they showered her with support and concern.
But the students didn't stop there.
On Oct. 21, a group of sixth, seventh and eighth graders walked laps around the Lithonia school's track to raise money for cancer research.
The student's 5K Walk for a Cure raised more than $1,500 which they will donate to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Many of the school's student body of 1,200 donated $1 to $10.
Seventh grade, which fielded the largest number of participants, won a pink lemonade party.
Blackwell, who was diagnosed in August 2007, was declared cancer-free in January after two months of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation. She said she was overwhelmed by the students' generosity.
"They provided so much motivation and support for me to keep going," said Blackwell, who has been at Miller Grove Middle for five years. "When I beat it they were happy, they were excited."
Blackwell said a lot of kids didn't know what to expect and were concerned for her. "When I went through chemo I lost my hair and my appearance changed," she said.
During the walk, sixth, seventh and eighth graders, wearing some pink clothing, circled track in groups, while the school's band played. They and teachers carried banners with slogans like "Walking For A Cure," "Breast Cancer Awareness Walk for Cure!" and "Power of Pink."
Before the walk, a group of students performed the song "Stand Up," for Blackwell in recognition of her success at beating breast cancer.
Shacavia Amey, an eighth-grade teacher, helped the Miller Grove Middle student government organize the event. She said because of the fundraiser and Blackwell's cancer fight, a lot of the youth have become more knowledgeable about breast cancer.
"A lot of the kids either have someone in their family who is a survivor or have friends who know someone with cancer," she said.
Erica Miller, an eighth grader, said that the students should continue to always support the fight against breast cancer.
"You never know when it might be someone you know who next gets breast cancer," she said. "So we just need to continue to give back."