Everything started as a small venture to raise enough money and walk as a team in the Pediatric Cancer Foundation’s Walkathon. I made a commitment to participate in charity events ever since I won my fight against Ewing Sarcoma at the age of ten. I knew that in order to walk with my own team, I had to raise sufficient funds. Luckily, I had a dose of experience with fundraising; across my middle and high school career I raised money through bracelet sales, participated in walkathons, and encouraged fellow students to join me. I gathered my closest group of friends, and without any orderly plan we took on Facebook to raise money for the Pediatric Cancer Foundation. The Checkmate, Cancer! Campaign took off instantaneously. Friends, family, and co-workers were all interested in supporting the cause and spreading the word about our team. I was astounded by how many people started to get involved not only with us, but charity organizations that they had personal connections with. I like to see people involved with good causes, and I try to promote acts of kindness amongst my peers. We surpassed our fundraising goal of $2,000 in just a month’s time and went on to raise over $5,000 for the walkathon. I solidified the slowly growing reputation of our project by hosting a fundraising Luncheon where I spoke to my friends and team members about pediatric cancer. Needless to say, what we created is more of a social movement than a fundraiser in itself. We started our first fundraising project from scratch, we had absolutely no idea what we were doing but we were always doing something. And the constant work and devotion we put into it, as a team, amounted to something that far exceeded our initial expectations. Our campaign works entirely through volunteer efforts, and every member of the team has a distinct area of expertise. We are a small team with a big heart, drive and dedication. I am a cancer survivor, I was ten years old when I was diagnosed with bone cancer and I was given about a 70% chance of survival and 40% chance of having my leg amputated. These are considered “lucky” statistics. The latter of the two, thankfully, didn’t happen but it left me scarred more than any of you can imagine. Ask me any question about my battle and I will answer it as if it happened yesterday. Ironically, I look back at my experience with joy because no matter how difficult it was to cope with the physical and mental strains, I learned to value my family, my friends, and the tremendous amount of work and love that doctors and nurses extended to me. I don’t know how my future will play out; what my career path will be, or how healthy I will be, but I do know if I have to give my last dollar to pediatric cancer research, I will do it. I will do it because awareness has to be raised and cancer has to be eradicated. I do this because I think it is more important than anything else. Giving back is nourishment for my mind. I was given a second chance at life and more importantly a brand new perspective on life; a perspective I wish to share with everyone.

3 Responses to “The Checkmate Story”

  1. Amanda DiPietro
    October 3, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

    Your story is so amazing! and thanks for all you have done! Nancy & her family couldn’t have done it without you. Great to see people out there who truly care about changing lives. You’re a survivor for a reason everyone has a plan in life. Can’t thank you enough! <3

  2. Lauren DiPietro
    October 3, 2013 at 8:12 pm #

    Your story is so amazing and inspirational! No words can explain how thankful I am for you and this amazing Campaign you brought about! You really touched people hearts by making such a wonderful impact on peoples lives. So once again thank you from all of us! and God Bless <3

  3. Katherine
    October 4, 2013 at 10:36 pm #

    You are a great and strong woman, please continue to do what you are doing because we need so many more people like you in this world.

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