RICHARDSON — One out of every 330 children under 18 will get cancer. Two North Texas fifth-graders are doing what they can to reduce that number.
For the third straight year, Caitlyn Coker and Nathan Alvey are raising money to help kids with cancer and their families.
The organization they're helping was so impressed, they put the two 11-year-olds on a special kids board of directors.
Four-year-old Connor Cruse was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2005. His courageous cancer battle ended four years later after enduring 200 nights in hospitals, 14 surgeries, 40 blood transfusions, 25 rounds of chemo, and two bone marrow transplants.
His parents started the TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation.
Caitlyn and Nathan are raising money for TeamConnor in honor of their friend’s three-year-old brother, Charlie. In three years, they've raised almost $8,000 for the foundation.
"Most people think I'm too little to raise that much money, but really, you're not," Nathan said. "All you have to do is just get people to just start raising the money, get the word out there, and people will start donating."
TeamConnor founder Joy Cruse, Connor's mom, was very impressed by Nathan and Caitlyn's efforts. Since they’re too young to serve on the board of directors, they created a special junior advisory board, comprised of students 10 to 18.
"Kids are resilient, and they want to help, and they want to help fight,” Cruse said. “I saw that when my son Connor had cancer. And you just give kids an opportunity to help, and they will rise to the occasion."
Caitlyn and Nathan say helping fund a cancer cure gives them a special feeling, knowing they're making a difference.
"I want to visit people and I want to tell them that we're going to find a cure, and it will be OK," Caitlyn said.