Raising awareness for childhood cancer


Courtesy of the White family

The Seany Foundation has an annual summer camp for children with cancer or siblings of cancer patients.

Stella Muehlhausen, Reporter

According to a study performed by the World Health Organization, every two minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer. Eighth-grader Curt White became one of these children on August 18, 2008, when he was diagnosed with stage four Wilms-tumor cancer.

At the time of his diagnosis, Curt was only three years old, so he did not quite understand what was happening when he was taken into emergency surgery to remove his kidney.

“My mom got me a book called Captain Chemo’ that talked about how Captain Chemo, or chemotherapy, was fighting the cancer and was going to win,” Curt said. “I was in remission six months after I was diagnosed, but I still have to go to check ups that include ultrasounds and taking blood.”

I was kept alive for a reason and I happened to be more fortunate than some people.

— Curt White

Although Curt was the only one in the White family with cancer, it also affected those around him. This challenging experience brought the entire family closer together, but in particular, Curt bonded with his older sister, junior Kallie White.

“Everyone experiences it differently, but my whole family is stronger because of it,” Kallie said. “You never know what could happen. We have seen how fast it can get ripped away, so we just try to make every moment matter.”

Both Curt and Kallie still spread awareness for childhood cancer because they believe it is incredibly underfunded, and they want people to know that everyone can help raise awareness.

“There are so many ways for other people to get involved,” Kallie said. “One of the first ways is to spread awareness about the lack of funding childhood cancer gets. Other ways to get involved are to write to Congress, share a personal story or skip coffee one day and donate.”

One way that Curt and Kallie spread awareness for their cause is through The Seany Foundation, which “[funds] meaningful projects that enhance the lives of kids, teens, and young adults affected by cancer.”

“The foundation is one of the best things in my life and others’ lives,” Kallie said. “It gives a place for kids to share their feelings, have fun, and just be kids and not cancer patients or siblings of cancer patients. It’s a highly supportive atmosphere and its main goal is to give kids a break from the hospital.”

Although most kids will never experience something like Curt did when he was just three years old, he still manages to have a positive outlook on life.

“This experience has taught me that you only live once, and that I can overcome a lot of challenges that come my way,” Curt said. “I was kept alive for a reason and I happened to be more fortunate than some people.”