There once was a little boy named Christopher. Christopher had a brother, Gavin. This is their story!
Christopher and his brother Gavin were 9 and 10. Though they were only one year apart, Gavin was a true big brother. Gavin always looked out for Christopher; he made sure Christopher knew where to sit in the lunch room and ensured Christopher was always among the first few picked for kickball at recess! Every day they would ride the bus home from school, quickly finish their homework then either head to the family room to play their favorite video game, or go out to their fort in the backyard where they would pretend to be superheroes, wizards, or cops and robbers.
One day Gavin wasn't feeling well and stayed home from school. His mother took him to the doctor and over the course of the next few weeks, and many doctor's visits, it was discovered that Gavin had cancer. Christopher and Gavin's parents sat the boys down to explain that there would be days that Gavin couldn't go to school or play outside because the medicine that would help him get better could also make him very tired and sometimes feel a bit crummy. Despite the news, the boys kept to their regular schedule of wizarding and stopping robbers until Gavin started his chemotherapy treatment. Very quickly, Gavin's desire to play lessened; Christopher sensed this and committed to a regular schedule of indoor video games play so he could stay by his brother's side.
One day, the boys' mother asked if they would like to take part in a walk to raise money to help other children like Gavin; the boys were curious. Their mother explained that there are doctors and scientists working very hard to make sure that other kids don't have to go through cancer treatment and that they are trying to discover new medicines and treatments that will cure cancer someday, but they need money to pay for test tubes and beakers and other laboratory tools. The boys were excited and right away started coming up with ways to raise money. The family agreed that they would raise $500. The boys would ask their grandparents (they were always good for five dollars when they boys would visit)! They would have a lemonade stand; Christopher offered to man it out by the street if Gavin would mix it up in the kitchen! They would put cards in the neighbors' mailboxes asking them to donate to their team. Nearly every day the boys came up with a new idea and their parents would help them make it happen. The family's focus quickly shifted however when Gavin was admitted to the hospital.
Three weeks passed since Gavin was admitted to the children's hospital. Christopher visited as much as he could convince his parents to let him, which was almost every day. On the off days he stayed with his grandparents and worked hard to collect spare change from the many jars that his grandmother kept around the house. Christopher knew that with the walk coming up and with his brother in the hospital, if they were going to reach $500 he needed to continue his collecting! At school Christopher told all the kids at recess, his teacher Ms. Wheeler, and the Principal Mr. Bryant that his family was walking to raise money for kids like Gavin, and that he was going to begin collecting spare change to meet the family's goal.
The next day when Christopher was walking into school Mr. Bryant called him over in the hallway. Much to Christopher's excitement he reached deep into his pocket and pulled out a handful of change, mostly quarters! Christopher put the change in his pocket and continued on his way. At recess four other students came up and handed over change they had collected. Christopher was overwhelmed that everyone cared so much. But Christopher had a problem; he had so much change and no where to put it. He searched for a bag but couldn't find one. It was that moment that Christopher had his most brilliant idea! He took off one of his socks, inspected it for holes – there were none - emptied his pockets full of change into the sock and knotted it at the top so the money would be safe. Toward the end of the day, Ms. Wheeler noticed a sock sitting on the floor under Christopher's desk and asked what it was doing there. Without missing a beat Christopher responded, "I'm gonna sock it to cancer!" The teacher giggled, went over to her drawer, gathered all of her loose coins, and presented them to Christopher. He opened the sock and added the deposit to his cotton bank.
Christopher took the change home and with the help of his mother counted the coins, $26.73! Christopher was overjoyed!
That same afternoon, Mr. Bryant and Ms. Wheeler were at a teachers' meeting after school. They shared Christopher's efforts and the staff decided they would pull together to support Christopher and, more importantly, Gavin. The next morning Mr. Bryant visited every class in the school to tell them about Gavin and that he wanted everyone to join Christopher so they could "Sock It to Cancer". He presented each class with a tube sock and challenged them to fill the sock with change. The teachers sent home a notice to parents explaining that for the next week each class would be filling a sock with change to help "Sock It to Cancer."
By the end of the week, change and socks were flooding the hallways of the little elementary school. Christopher and his friends would stay after school each day with Ms. Wheeler and Mr. Bryant to count the change. At the end of the week they had collected a whopping $1,532.84!!
That year the family's team raised over $2,000! Gavin never made it to the walk but Christopher collected a medal in his honor, brought it to the hospital, and put it on his big brother! One month later, at Gavin's funeral, his casket was draped with that medal and a pair of white tube socks. Christopher continues to Sock It to Cancer, with his entire school behind him, and he believes that this is something that everyone can do.
So now it's your turn! Can your school or organization help fight for kids like Gavin? Will you ensure that researchers have the needed funding to continue their work so that someday no child receives a cancer diagnosis? It's as simple as a tube sock. Join CureSearch for Children's Cancer and "Sock It to Cancer!"