You are never too young to catch the spirit of giving back.
When Scott Maul, MD, Medical Director with Aurora Cancer Care in Grafton, started to describe what cancer was to a group of third graders from Whitefish Bay, a hand immediately shot up in the crowd.
“My mom had cancer,” said eight-year-old Charlotte Leonhardt.
The 26 members of Brownie Troop 3522 decided to donate their 2012 cookie money to the cancer program in honor of their troop leader, Moira Leonhardt.
“I was surprised and honored the girls wanted to do this,” said Leonhardt, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2012. Today, she is cancer-free and was one of the chaperones for the girls during their visit. The girls presented a check for $1,000 to Dr. Maul to support the cancer program.
“It is really humbling to know these eight-year-olds have all been personally touched by cancer, but what’s more inspiring is that they understand the importance of giving back and want to make a difference for others battling cancer,” said Dr. Maul.
In addition, the girls donated personalized art work for the cancer center’s art therapy program.
“We wanted to do something to help patients heal, and the girls felt this was the right thing to do,” said Leonhardt.
The girls toured through different areas of the clinic, seeing advanced imaging, lab work and treatment areas. They discussed the advanced technology and state of the art treatment options available at the center, including access to clinical trials.
“We’re trying to demystify the word ‘cancer’ and help the girls learn more about what cancer is, how we fight it today, and steps we can take to help prevent and treat this disease,” said Dr. Maul.
Dr. Maul led a discussion about cancer prevention and steps we can all take today to help reduce risks in developing cancer. “More drugs are in development for cancer than any other disease, and there’s a lot of hope in the fight against cancer,” said Dr. Maul.
The girls and fellow troop leaders were honored to help. “I’m just so proud of them,” said Leonhardt.
“Cancer has a way of bringing our community together and a group of eight-year-olds donating their cookie money to help the Aurora Grafton Cancer Center is a beautiful expression of that compassion,” said Dr. Maul.
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