A local teenager is paying it forward by raising money for Childhood Cancer Canada at a fundraiser in Barrie.
At Boston Pizza in Barrie, 17-year-old Kayla Jonhston has organized a fundraiser for children with cancer. It's a cause she took up while she was being treated at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto.
“I want to take a stand and be a voice for kids who just want to be kids,” she says.
Kayla wants people to become more aware of childhood cancer and Monday night she is hosting a fundraiser to do just that.
“It’s to show the world that childhood cancer is not rare, it can attack anyone at any age. There are children as young as newborns who have to battle this,” she says.
CTV Barrie first met Kayla in July when she was getting ready to attend the prom at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. For the past year she's been treated there for a variety of health issues, and she has made friends with a lot of kids with cancer. That's why she feels compelled to make a difference.
“I just met so many incredible kids there and it made me realize there are so many kids out there who need our help and we don't realize it,” Kayla says.
“Every single night Kayla has pain and is on medication,” says her mom Leigh Ann. “We're at Sick Kids every single week and every single day she does something for this foundation. I'm so proud of her.”
According to the national foundation, Childhood Cancer Canada, 10,000 Canadian children are currently fighting cancer while 1,500 new cases are diagnosed every year. More than 70 per cent will survive.
Kayla is working with the foundation, and money raised tonight through raffles and a silent auction will go to two things: a university or college bursary for childhood cancer survivors and to support hospitals that provide care for children fighting the disease.
Kayla has already raised $1,500 in the past two weeks and is hoping to raise the same amount tonight. The event goes until 8 p.m. at the Boston Pizza in Barrie's south end.