The Power of our Youth

Besides being amazed by the strength of children battling cancer, I am incredibly inspired by the young adults who help them with their fight. I’m not only inspired, I’m honored and motivated whenever I see firsthand what they do.

Tonight was the monthly Nick’s Round Table meeting. Teens from Shenendehowa Central School, Burnt Hills, Albany Academy, and Shaker, as well as other area schools come together once a month to work on raising money to make children’s lives happier and easier. They volunteer at every single event that Nick’s Fight to be Healed sponsors. Whether it’s a fundraiser, sharing a dinner, shopping for the family, supporting at a conference, helping the staff from The Melodies Center, writing supporting notes, packing water bottles for events or building a float to raise awareness, these young adults have it together.

There were over 40 members at the meeting tonight and my son, Stephen, kept the meeting flowing nicely. He has become a comfortable leader who doesn’t mind having fun, but gets the job done. Marcus Romano, whose brother Luke passed away almost 4 years ago has taken over the Luke Strong Olympics and spoke to the group tonight to get support.

Stephen Cammarata, Maddy Healy and Michael Blond shopping for Chase. Support Chase on Facebook at Chase Away Leukemia.

Yesterday,  10 or more volunteers did arts and crafts for children at The Melodies Center’s St. Baldrick’s Fundraiser. They aren’t afraid to hug and show children love and joy no matter what they are going through. They are beacons of hope when kids are suffering and inspiration for anyone who doesn’t know how to help someone with cancer. They are themselves and they treat others like they would want to be treated–normally with a little sugar on top.

Erin Doescher (left) and Katie Collins (co-VP of Nick’s Round Table) met beautiful Abby at St. Baldrick’s event. Support Abby on her Facebook page Amazing Abby.

So many leaders and innovative self-starters have sprung from their involvement in Nick’s Round Table. Kayla Wheeler is in her fifth year at RIT doing graduate work. She has had multiple fundraisers for the foundation and has donated money to the Golisano’s Children’s Hospital in Rochester. She recently went shopping for Liam, a little boy who is preparing for a bone marrow transplant at the hospital. Going far away from home for a scary procedure is very tough for a little guy and Kayla showing up with gifts and her awesome smile had to make him feel good. That show of support is what the family needed.

Liam having some fun in between treatments. Support him on Facebook at Love for Liam (in his fight against Leukemia)

Brianna Dioses has been extremely involved in helping other young adults with cancer at The College of New Jersey and is working on helping children in the hospital. These are young adults leading the way to empower others and make the world a better place. I couldn’t be prouder of them and when I see what they are doing I get revved up to keep fighting the war against cancer.

To see what all these amazing teens do go to Nick’s Fight to be Healed’s website

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of Nick’s Round Table and the adults who have donated so much of their time helping this group–Ann Frantti, Annette Romano, Diane Lange, Karen Patchell, Barb Brosnan, and many others. It takes a community to create change, but it’s the power of our youth that makes all the difference.

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