SGU Student Groups Join Forces in Fundraising to Blast Away Brain Cancer

KylieNot long after Little Kylie had endured one round of chemotherapy for medulloblastoma, a rare and serious brain cancer, she and her family learned that she was not yet out of the woods. She needed further treatments that they could not afford.

The Limes Afterschool Program, run by St. George’s University’s Significant Others Organization (SOO), pitched in and raised nearly US $14,000 in less than a month, allowing for Kylie to undergo follow-up chemotherapy in Grenada at no cost to her family.

“It is amazing how so many people have come together to give Kylie and her family hope for Kylie’s future,” said Kristin Graetz, who coordinates the Limes program with Fida Salamah. “Kylie is a fighter, and her 120-plus supporters are giving her the chance to fight and beat this cancer.”

Little Kylie was first diagnosed with medulloblastoma shortly after her first birthday. Treatment in Virginia, with the aid of the World Pediatric Project, was a success, but more chemotherapy was needed for the now-2-year-old.

Ms. Graetz and Ms. Salamah sprang into action.  Joined by Isaiah Gonzalez, a first-term medical student who was drawn to the cause because cancer has touched his family, the team rallied support through speeches to classes, emails to student group presidents, a Facebook page, and a special fundraising website. Their efforts set off an avalanche of support. Nine SGU student groups jumped on board to donate money, encourage others to contribute, and even host their own fundraising events.

“The response we got from everyone was amazing,” Ms. Graetz commented “I was shocked, especially with how quickly it happened.”

Virtually overnight they raised US $3,000, in under three weeks they met their goal of US $12,500 and in less than a month, they surpassed this goal raising just under US $14,000 for Kylie.

Donations continue to come in and fundraising activities are still being held. The extra money will be placed in a special fund to take care of Kylie’s miscellaneous medical expenses. Ms. Graetz said that the Limes Afterschool Program will continue to assist Kylie in any way they can.

The Limes Afterschool Program, which serves children from ages 2-17 in the Limes, Grand Anse and surrounding areas, provides a safe place for kids to play, learn, and be active after school. Volunteers help the kids with homework, interact with them through fun activities, and also teach important lessons for their psychosocial development like teambuilding, sharing, and patience. Most of the kids come from underprivileged homes.

The Limes Afterschool Program give special thanks to IEA, SGU Neuroscience Society, Emergency Medicine, Persian Students Association, Catholic Student Association, Muslim Students Association, American Medical Students Association, Student Government Association, and Public Health Students Association, as well as all students and others who have contributed their time, love, and positive thoughts.

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