VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Worldwide, every two minutes, a child is diagnosed with cancer.
Research has developed treatments, but no cures.
“My hopes are to make it fewer and fewer parents that have to fight alongside where we can find cures for cancer,” Patty Furco, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation event organizer, said.
Furco knows the fight against childhood cancer firsthand.
“My daughter, Abby…who is forever 15. She passed away in October in 2021. She fought for 12 years against cancer and its effects,” she said.
Furco said Abby lit up any room she stepped into. One of her favorite places to go was Princess Anne Middle School.
“She went to class when she could in between treatment and hospital stays,” Furco said, “but she wanted to be here at the school with the staff and the students and her friends.”
With Abby in mind, the school is raising money to help fund research for a cure.
One way they fundraised was by throwing a huge carnival in the middle of the gym.
“We’ve been fundraising all week,” said Charlotte Kernutt, vice president of the National Junior Honor Society. “We have done this money jar. We’ve been telling tickets and raffle. This is the event that is putting it all together. There are games and everything. It’s kind of like a school dance but for a good cause.”
Other shaved their heads to raise money.
“It’s the least we can do,” said Princess Anne Middle teacher Jamie Arnett. “We had to do something good.”
All the money raised is being donated to St. Baldrick’s Foundation.
“St. Baldrick’s Foundation directly funds researchers, then those researchers do childhood cancer-specific research,” Furco said.
She said four out of five children with cancer survive, but the treatment takes a toll on their bodies.
“The treatments are good, but then kids survive cancer and kids like Abby pass away from side effects,” Furco said.
She hopes more research can be done to help save children’s lives.
Furco said the fun and games at the fundraiser will help move research further along.
Helping others is something she said Abby would do in a heartbeat.
“I know today she is smiling at all of us doing this for other kids,” Furco said.
Princess Anne Middle School has already surpassed its $10,000 goal.
If you’d like to help them smash it, click here.