Myers goes all out in support of cancer awareness

Elementary school recognizes Childhood Cancer Awareness Week with special assembly


Bryce Graham

Mrs. Murray had 12 inches of hair cut off at the Childhood Cancer Awareness Week assembly at Myers.

Abie Boutiller, Student Contributor

Myers Elementary School hosted an inspiring assembly for International Childhood Cancer Awareness Week on Wednesday, February 15.

The district has taken this cause personally due to cancer diagnoses for two of its own students, second grader Maddie Shura and twelfth grader Alexis Kensinger.

Maddie was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in the summer of 2016.  Alexis had been by her side ever since meeting Maddie while coaching for the East Antis Rams cheerleaders.  That is why it was such a surprise and heartbreak to hear of Alexis’s diagnosis of thyroid cancer at the beginning of February.

“Maddie has helped me with my fight because I have seen how strong she is and it has really inspired me,” said Alexis. “She has fought so much, and she is already a year into this, and I’m just starting out. It’s a lot of inspiration to see how she has handled it.”

In recognition of the week, third and first grade teachers got together to plan a way to get the entire elementary school involved in support of children with cancer, and to show how much the student body cares for Alexis and Maddie.

The teacher’s came up with a points system for the kids to follow in order to earn an award. Homerooms earning the most points, by wearing the colors symbolic of childhood cancer were named the winners.

What is the award in question? To embarrass their teacher at the assembly!

The teacher’s got to “pick their poison.”  Some teachers got wrapped up in toilet paper, which second grade teacher Mrs. Tara Naylor took one step further when she was wrapped in toilet paper with Maddie in her arms.

“Iv’e known Maddie for about three years because she takes dance with my daughter,” said Mrs. Naylor, who is Maddie’s teacher. “I just think that it’s nice to have something for her to look forward to.  It was nice to see Maddie so excited for the assembly.”

This project may have started out as an elementary activity, but it spread to the whole community.

“There were parents who were posting pictures and ideas on Facebook of ways they were helping their children to score points for the assembly,” said third grade teacher Mrs. Allison Clabaugh, whose family is close friends with the Shura family. “This was special to me because Maddie is like my third child, and having this child awareness assembly was so important to me. It was nice to see the students come together for this cause.”

After winning the third grade challenge, Mrs. Clabaugh allowed her class to throw cheese balls at her face, which was covered in whipped cream, in support of child cancer awareness.

Fourth grade teacher Tommie Murray motivated her class to get points by allowing her hair to get cut off at the assembly. Murray announced that she would donate her locks to make a wig for  childhood cancer patient.

Needless to say, her class won and she had twelve inches of her hair cut off in front of the whole school.

“Many children lose their hair in their fight with cancer, and I wanted to donate my hair for wigs to boost the confidence of children that are fighting,”  Murray stated.

When third grade teacher Erin Kelly, who was a big contributor for this assembly, serving as the emcee, was asked what the most inspiring part of the event was she said “it was definitely seeing Alexis and Maddie there as a part of the activities.  I think it is nice for the children to see our fighters get involved in the assembly too.”

Similarly, Mrs. Murray expressed great pride in the effort put forth by the students and the comunity in support of children with cancer.

“It brings me Bellwood pride to see our school come together for this cause,” she said. “We are such a close community, and I am proud to be a part of it.”