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West Texans With Purpose aims to raise awareness of childhood cancer

Original art by Kaylee Buck

Original art by Kaylee Buck

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Community members can sign a West Texans With a Purpose petition to increase pediatric cancer federal funding until March 15. The petition is a project of the West Texans with a Purpose Bateman team at West Texas A&M University.

The petition is part of the Bateman Case Study Competition, a public relations competition in which colleges develop comprehensive campaigns under a universal theme. This year’s theme benefits the childhood cancer organization “With Purpose.” The West Texans With Purpose team consists of five students and one teacher from WTAMU. Canyon High School Video Production Club sponsor Charles Johnson and the club met with West Texans With Purpose during their tour of the WTAMU Fine Arts Complex.

It is not easy to take such a devastating tragedy and turn it into something positive to make a difference.”

— Skyler Bonneau

“I think ‘With Purpose’ is doing a great job connecting with our community and raising awareness on the lack of funding,” Johnson said. “I honestly hope one day, because of campaigns like this and others like it, people can live without the fear of cancer.”

Along with raising the awareness of pediatric cancer, West Texans With Purpose must raise $1,000 for their cause. Group member and WTAMU student Skyler Bonneau said the team also wants to inspire others in the community to contribute.

“I would describe ‘With Purpose’ as extremely courageous and ambitious,” Bonneau said. “It is not easy to take such a devastating tragedy and turn it into something positive to make a difference. I think they are very ambitious because of the growing potential within pediatric cancer research.”

Bonneau said only 4 percent of the National Cancer Institute’s budget is given to all forms of pediatric cancer. In America, one in five children diagnosed with cancer will not survive, but very little advancements for treatments have occurred since the 1970s.

“It is unacceptable how little options there are for children with cancer,” Bonneau said. “It is also important because awareness is the first step. If you don’t know about it, you can’t help create change.”

I honestly hope that one day, because of campaigns like this and others like it, people can live without the fear of cancer.”

— Charles Johnson

The group partnered with the Tatum Tough Foundation to organize events and meetings throughout the Panhandle to spread information about pediatric cancer.

“I hope that we can initiate a change by inspiring the people of our community to start the conversation,” Bonneau said. “Get the ball rolling for improvement and own the competition.”

The group meets at least once a week to discuss events and plans for the team.

“I feel their goals of raising awareness and inevitably raising funding can certainly be met,” Johnson said. “I feel we are such a compassionate society, and, as awareness is raised about the lack of funding, so too will the pressure for our government to do more.”

 

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “West Texans With Purpose aims to raise awareness of childhood cancer”

  1. Shea Johnson on March 10th, 2018 12:15 pm

    Great piece, Maryssa! Thank you for sharing our cause!

    [Reply]

  2. Charles Johnson on March 20th, 2018 1:18 pm

    Great article on a great cause!

    [Reply]

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




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West Texans With Purpose aims to raise awareness of childhood cancer