Letter from the Team Leader  – Elona Karafin

“Everything started as a small venture to raise enough money and walk as a team in the Pediatric Cancer Foundation’s Walkathon.”

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I made a commitment to participate in charity events ever since I won my fightagainst 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. Igathered 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.

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Meet the Team

Checkmate, Cancer Team

From top left: Ronald Kavral, Daniel Smolensky, Kevin Kotlyar, Wael Hamad, Vitaliy Buzhnitsa, Michael Skowron, Dmitriy Nabedrik, Alexander Shlaferman, Michael Kozyrev, Boris Adamovich
From bottom right: Marina Zuyeva, Eugene Komissarov, Artem Melkumov, Daniel Simikin, Aleksandr Levitin, Alan Lykov, Nicky Gusler, Daniella Smolyansky, Helen Teslia, Sara Furshman, Igor Faygenbaum, Hekuran Borova