Ten-year-olds Julia Schaer and Mackenzie Maher have dedicated most of their young lives to helping others fight against cancer. Since kindergarten, Maher and Schaer, who are both students in the East Brunswick Public School District, have spent quite a bit of time selling lemonade for their cause.
Together, the girls lead the Let’s Fight Cancer (L.F.C.) Club, which recently reached its goal of collecting more than $1,000. On June 11, these fourth graders will visit the Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital (BMSCH) at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) to donate the club’s proceeds to help pediatric patients in their fight against cancer.
“Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved helping people. I’ve been raising money for charity my whole life,” Schaer said. “I met Mackenzie in nursery school and we became best friends. With her help, we formed the L.F.C. Club. We’re so happy to be giving the money we’ve raised to help children with cancer and we hope that they get cured soon.”
For Maher, her motivation to fight against cancer stems from personal loss. “Both of my grandpas have cancer. One of them died. The other is still strongly fighting,” the Frost Elementary School student explained. “Cancer’s a war, be a soldier. I think everyone should join the fight. I wanted to do something to help others.
In addition to raising money to fight cancer, Maher and Schaer have sent hand-made cards with personal notes of love and encouragement for pediatric patients at the hospital.
The RWJ University Hospital Foundation already received a $300 donation from the student council at Warnsdorfer Elementary School, where students sold rainbow loom bracelets, snacks and Valentine’s Day cards and sponsored a movie night to raise funds to help fight pediatric cancer. Schaer, who attends the elementary school and is the school’s student council vice president, spearheaded that fundraiser.
“We are so proud of Mackenzie and Julia and all the members of the Let’s Fight Cancer Club,” said Brian D. Agnew, Senior Vice President for Development at RWJUH. “They have opened their hearts to give hope. Their hard work has resulted in more than just a donation; they have set a wonderful example for their peers and proven that you’re never too young to make a difference. On behalf of the RWJ University Hospital Foundation, I thank them, their parents and their classmates for making this gift possible.”