Fighting childhood cancer during COVID

Kai Blankenship, Print Staff

   Every two minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer. Every two minutes a kid begins a journey down a long, harrowing path of constantly fighting for their life. They go through many intense cancer treatments, straining their bodies and immune systems.

   These treatments, while made specifically for the bodies of adults, are being used to fight cancer in the bodies of children. Therefore, the treatments can be extremely damaging to kids, as their bodies are not yet fully-developed. St. Baldrick’s is an organization that raises money to specifically fund research for childhood cancer. This year, Lake Central’s St. Baldrick’s event was held virtually due to COVID-19.

   “I was happy we were still able to raise funds for the foundation. It was nice to allow community members to participate in the event,” Mrs. Angela Ohlenkamp, lead organizer of LC’s St. Baldrick’s event, said.

   Though it was necessary for the event to be online, participants such as Lucas Veloz (12) missed the in-person assembly. Prior to COVID-19, the entire school attended the St. Baldrick’s assembly in the gymnasium.

   “I would prefer the in-person assembly to see my friends and their reactions when [I shave] rather than in pictures. I feel like it would also be a bit better because there would be people next to me shaving, too,” Veloz said. 

   Over the 12 years that Lake Central has hosted St. Baldrick’s events, the school has had 424 participants and raised over $170,000. This year’s online event led to a total of $6,230 being raised. Ohlenkamp hopes that the 2021 event can be in-person, leading to more excitement and participation.

   “My hope is that we can return to a live assembly in the gym. The live events always bring in greater participation and a large surge in donations following the event,” Ohlenkamp said.