Women's Health

Teens Raise Money for Breast Cancer Awareness

Teens Raise Money for Breast Cancer Awareness

Photo credit: NBC, Journal Gazette, Susan G. Komen Puget Sound

Jordan Phillips, a 13-year-old from Ohio, is making headlines as she raises money for breast cancer awareness. Jordan’s mom, Nicole Phillips, was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago and that is when Jordan started ‘Cozys for a Cure.’ She is a young entrepreneur and philanthropist.

Jordan has raised more than $100,000 for her breast cancer charity, selling her coffee cup cozy. To use it, just take your cozy and slide it up your cup, and it keeps your hands from burning while holding your cup. Jordan has been making the cozy since her mom was diagnosed in 2015.

Cancer does not run in their family; Jordan’s mom Nicole was surprised and a little shocked when she was first diagnosed. Nicole said she was terrified being diagnosed with breast cancer, but even more so she worried about her family handling her diagnosis. Jordan said it was scary hearing her mom had cancer, especially early on because they did not know how bad it really was. Thoughts like, “Would mom live or die?” ran through Jordan’s mind.

Nicole said it was hard, especially when she heard what questions the kids were asking their dad. Nicole said it was hard to give answers because she did not know the answers herself. The family decided to take each day at a time and to face the facts together.

Being proactive toward awareness

Still, Jordan was searching for answers, and when she could not get them, she decided to turn her attention to something she could control. She wanted to help; she wanted to make their family’s situation better. That is when the idea of a cozy popped into her mind.

She saw someone holding a coffee with a cardboard sleeve on it. The sleeve was painted, like someone had doodled on it. So, Jordan thought a sleeve made out of colorful fabric would be a great idea. She started making prototypes and met with Greensource, one of the apparel suppliers for Komen for a Cure.

In the meantime, Nicole went through a double mastectomy and was told she is cancer free. Jordan kept making and selling her fabric cozys and raising money for the Susan G. Komen foundation.

Jordan got great news when Greensource set up a meeting with Walmart to discuss selling cozys in the supercenter. Jordan went to Walmart’s headquarters where they bought 207,000 of her cozys on the spot. She was overwhelmed with the news and instantly started crying happy tears.

Jordan’s inclusion on Walmart shelves

This past September, Walmart starting selling Jordan’s cozys in the store. The money earned will be donated to Susan G. Koman. Jordan urges everyone to go out and buy a cozy, not just because it looks fun and cute, but because it truly helps the cause. Walmart will stock Jordan’s coffee cup cozys in 1,550 of their U.S. stores. They will sell for $1.97 each and 35 cents of each cozy sold will go to Komen for a Cure.

Jordan is not the only teenager out there raising money for breast cancer awareness. Sarah Wampler and Mallory Metzger both lost their mothers to breast cancer before they graduated high school. The two girls connected while working together at Dairy Queen.

Mallory’s mom was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer and died in 2016. Sarah’s mom, Danielle Wampler, was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in 2016. Danielle went through treatment and her doctors said she was cancer free, but then it returned months later. At that point she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer that spread to her lungs, bones, and liver. Sarah’s mom died on Mother’s Day 2016.

A school fundraiser

After sharing their stories with one another, they decided to hold a fundraiser to raise money for breast cancer research in honor of their mother’s memories. Sarah is one year older than Mallory who is a senior at Adams Central High School in Monroe, Indiana. Sarah graduated from Adams Central the year prior, so they had that connection as well.

The girls approached their high school principal to conduct the fundraiser at the school. They sold tickets and merchandise. Sarah said they decided to donate the money raised to the Adams County Cancer Coalition, which gives the money to actual people in their county who are currently fighting cancer.

The event went off without a hitch. Eventgoers enjoyed popcorn and snow cones. There were also bracelets for sale which said ‘Fight For A Cure’ and were available in six different colors. Mallory said they did not want to just have pink bracelets for breast cancer but they wanted to bring awareness to several different cancers others could relate to.

Mallory and Sarah’s fundraiser brought in a little over $1,000. The girls do not think they will do another fundraiser in the future, as they learned it took a lot of planning and preparation. But they are happy they found each other. With their mothers gone, they hold tight for support.

Raising money with field goals

These girls are certainly not the only ones who can raise money for breast cancer. 12-year-old Van Berman from Snohomish, Washington, wanted to hold a fundraiser to honor his friend Gavin’s mother who was diagnosed with breast cancer. Van is a field goal kicker for his youth football team, and he decided to use his skills on the field to raise money for research.

Van said he wanted to use something he was good at to help others. At two games in October, community members were able to make a pledge to donate a certain amount of money per good kick he made at the games, or they could make a onetime donation. During one game he made six field goals.

Van raised $2,500 in those two games. He was shocked, in a good way, that something as simple as kicking a few field goals could have that big of an impact. The money raised was donated to the Susan G. Komen foundation.

Lisa Maynard, Van’s friend’s mom, is now cancer free. She said she is grateful for everything Van has done to raise awareness and money to help with research. Van plans to hold the fundraiser every year in October and hopes to raise even more money next year. Lisa said Van is a driven young man and she has no doubt that he will be successful in reaching his goals.

No matter boy or girl, young or old, these kids are proving that anything is possible if you set your mind to it.