I am a cancer survivor. When I was ten, I was diagnosed with a form of bone cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma. I fought a two year battle that, in many ways, shaped the person that I am today. The aftermath of my fight is my longing to give back on a larger scale. I don’t know how my future will play out; what my career path will end up being, or how healthy I will be, but I do know if I have to give my last dollar to a young patient fighting a battle with cancer, I will do it. Currently, I run a small pediatric cancer fundraising initiative I NYC. I raise money for underprivileged families with children fighting Cancer. My team and I have raised over $100K in donations over the last three years.

It isn’t just about the research, research gets a tremendous amount of funding and smaller scale fundraisers simply won’t generate substantial a substantial ROI. We can’t forget about individual patients. These are children … the psychological mark that an experience like that leaves on them is unimaginable and not easily conceived by someone who hasn’t been through it. We have to take into account what their families go through, the financial hardships they may have, and emotional scars an experience like this leaves on the people surrounding the child. Everyone is different, and everyone needs tailored attention to help them be strong enough to stay positive. I received that attention, and now I want to return the favor.

I do this because I think it is more important than anything else. Giving back is nourishment for my mind and my soul. We started our first fundraiser from scratch, we had absolutely no idea what we were doing but we were always doing something. And the constant work we put into it, as a team, amounted to something a lot more than our initial expectations. I like to see people involved with good causes, and I encourage everyone to find something important to them and to make a difference about it.