12-Year-Old Girl Organizes Musical Fundraiser for Children with Cancer

How can moving forward with hope and love help us heal?

For those struggling with childhood cancer, both patients and their families, there is help available. Though this may seem to be the darkest, most solitary period of your life, it can become a period of comfort and redemption. The trick is to turn out instead of in, reaching out for help and reaching out to help. In times of the worst possible troubles, feeling that you’re not alone can be the most important feeling in the world. The Lexiebean Foundation, established by people who know intimately the struggle you’re going through, is one of the places you can turn to for support and consolation.

There are many examples of outreach to assist childhood cancer patients and their families that touch us all, especially when such outreach is initiated by children themselves. One poignant example is the case of Amelia Moscowitz, a 12-year-old resident of Columbia, SC, who took it upon herself to organize a music festival in honor of her 5-year-old friend, Sam Lee, who passed away this past March of terminal brain cancer after fighting the disease for 3 years. His mother, Erin Benson expresses the agony of losing her son this way: “And now, moving through life without my heart is nearly impossible.”

During Sam’s treatment, Benson herself started an organization called “With Purpose” to raise money for advanced treatment of childhood cancer in order to help other children facing a cancer diagnosis. Her strongest desire was to give “families like ours” hope “when their kids are diagnosed.” Once Sam passed away, Benson doubted that she could keep the organization going.

It was then that Amelia, Sam’s neighbor and friend, came to the rescue. Feeling the she “had to do something” about the loss of her friend, she organized the Jam with Purpose Music Festival at nearby Coble Plaza. Her goal was to “help get [Sam’s] mom’s organization going and help it grow,” she said. Amelia’s mother, amazed as well as proud, pointed out that the project would take a lot of work, but her daughter was undeterred.

With the help of her friend, Juliette Maxfield, Amelia spent the summer organizing the event, a task that would have been complex even for an adult event planner. The girls found musicians to participate, obtained sponsors, set up the location and planned for appropriate food to be sold. According to Juliette, “A lot of people think that you have to be older or a grown up to try to organize things like this, but we just wanted to prove that kids can help cure cancer too.  “Instead of Cure Kid’s Cancer we say Kids Cure Cancer.”

For Sam’s mom, these neighborhood children brought a kind of solace and hope she could never have anticipated. “It’s hard to be dealt a rough hand,” Benson said, “but today isn’t hard. Today is lovely and inspiring and wonderful and beautiful.”

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