'Kids Fighting Cancer': team of students get ready to race for the cure

Photo provided by staff.

POSTED: Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 6:14pm

UPDATED: Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 10:28pm

The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is only a couple of days away. Of course, it's not just a face, but a huge tool in the fight against breast cancer. Now, one local teacher is taking the run and the fight to the classroom.

It's devastating, deadly and heartbreaking. It's breast cancer. It affects 1 in 8 women, women like Michelle Perk's mom.

"My mom has been sick more of my life than she has been healthy," Michelle said.

Michelle is a teacher at Southeast Middle School. Back in 2010, not many of her students knew about her mom's fight with breast cancer, until her mom's story showed up in the the newspaper.

"So they came back to school on Monday and said 'we want to raise money for your mom,' and I said 'you can't raise money for your mom, but we can raise money for other people,'" Michelle said.

So she decided to form a team called "Kids Fighting Cancer." She's not just doing this for her mom. She doing it for her daughter too.

"When I had my daughter, I wanted to make a bigger impact that way they could find a cure before she grew up," Michelle explained.

This year, her team got a $500 donation from Waste Management, enough make sure all of Michelle's students could cover the race fee.

"Cancer touched her family, and it's touched mine as well. My mother is deceased from breast cancer. We also have at Waste Management, a number of our employees that have been affected by breast cancer. So we felt as though it was a great cause to contribute to," Tricia Farace of Waste Management said.

The team's goal is to raise $6,000, and with $4,000, they're almost there. So students are doing whatever they can to reach that goal. Ty'ante Howard raised $50 just going door-to-door.

"Mrs. Perk always said it's okay if you try," Ty' ante said. "I can't imagine anyone else's family having breast cancer, and I can't imagine if my mom had breast cancer."

Clairisie Bankston knows how that feels.

"My grandmother had breast cancer, and she's a survivor," Clairisie said. "I've never been to a race and neither has my grandmother. 'Kids Fighting Cancer' gave us a team to join."

Since Michelle started the team, they've raised about 14-thousand dollars.

"So for this, whether they hit their goal or not, they're trying something different," Michelle said. "They're helping give back to the community. They're literally doing something that a lot of them never thought they could do."

If you'd like to help Michelle's team reach their goal, you can go here: http://batonrouge.info-komen.org/goto/kidsfightingcancer

"Race for the Cure" is Saturday morning at LSU. Registration starts at 7:00 A.M.

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