Hello, Everyone. This is GCN Founder Zak Bushey.
September is known nationally as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and the gold ribbons, which represent the cause, will be seen around town.
Last week, Glendora Unified School District Superintendent Rob Voors and School Board member Cory Ellenson joined myself and led the charge to get the district involved in supporting a “go gold” theme for the month.
Two high profile students, Cale Smith and Khloe Carlson-Torres have brought a great deal of awareness to our district through fundraisers and events at their elementary schools.
Cale, a fifth grader at La Fetra Elementary, has been battling cancer since last year. Students and staff at La Fetra have rallied around him, wearing shirts and bracelets, despite him not being able to attend school during treatments.
Many of Cale’s friends, family and schoolmates even shaved their heads in a show of support. Over the summer, there was a ‘Day at the Races’ fundraiser attended by over 300 members from the Glendora community as well as friends and family of Smith.
His parents, Karine and Corey Smith, are overwhelmed by all the support.
“We are truly amazed by the outpouring of support and response from Cale’s teachers, classmates, parents and GUSD. That unwavering support has helped us over the past several months more than anyone will ever know,” Karine said.
Khloe, a first grader at Cullen Elementary, just underwent enucleation surgery last week to have her right eye removed. This came after a two year battle and multiple treatments for a tumor growing behind her optic nerve.
Students and staff at Cullen went above and beyond to send Khloe their support while she recovers. Many classes posted photos of themselves wearing eye patches and ordering hundreds of shirts adorned with the phrase “Stay Fearless Khloe,” which is her social media moniker.
Khloe is followed by over 3,000 people and issues updates on her fight and aims to help inspire other children and families affected by cancer.
I recently spoke with Glendora Mayor Karen Davis and other Council members regarding these students and the Council offered enormous support by issuing a proclamation at the September 8 City Council meeting to recognize the awareness.
As much support as Cale and Khloe have received by becoming very public regarding their cancers, the community’s awareness campaign is focused on supporting all local families going through childhood cancer, some of whom may wish to remain private.
“The Proclamation is a small but symbolic way for us to pay tribute to the families, friends, professionals, and communities who lend their enormous strength to children fighting pediatric cancer. Along with the Glendora Unified School District, we commend their courage and commitment, uniting under a “GO GOLD” theme, and encourage everyone in our community to support efforts that create public awareness and finding a cure for childhood cancer. We extend our thoughts, prayers and support to these children and their families,” Davis said.
It truly is my honor to be a part of gaining exposure to the awareness of childhood cancer and I ask the community to join me in going gold in September.
Some simple ideas are wearing a gold ribbon, putting ribbons on your business doors, wearing clothing with gold or any other small gesture that together, can show support to these amazing children in our community that are suffering.
Below are fun interviews of Cale and Khloe that GCN conducted. Both of these brave kids have gone out of their way to support other community causes, even during their illnesses.