Ticonderoga Grace Harker has a simple goal.
“On May 25 I will stop cancer,” the 8-year-old Ticonderoga girl declared.
Harker will walk in Ti’s Bicentennial Park Saturday, May 25, at 3 p.m. to raise money for the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Her goal is to raise more than $400. She has already collected more than $300 in pledges.
“We were driving home one day and she just announced she wanted to end cancer,” said Michelle Harker, Grace’s mother. “I have no idea where that came from. Fortunately, no one in our family has cancer. I don’t think Grace has ever known anyone with cancer.”
After announcing her goal, Grace went to work. She went online and learned St. Jude’s specializes in children’s cancer. She decided to raise money for the hospital. She then set up a Facebook page to tell people about her plans and seek support.
People can donate anything they wish, Michelle said.
“This is very informal; we’re trying to keep it simple,” Michelle said. “We’re not taking pledges per miles or anything. People can just make a donation.”
Grace hopes people will do more than donate money. She would like them to come to the park May 25 and join her in the walk.
“Ideally, we would like people to show up and walk with her,” Michelle said. “We would love for her to have that kind of support.”
Grace is a second grade student at Ticonderoga Elementary School.
“She’s always coming up with different ideas,” said Rick Harker, her father. “Some are silly, like all kids, but we thought this was a great idea. We’re proud of Grace.”
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, located Memphis, Tenn., was founded in 1962 by the late entertainer Danny Thomas. Its mission is to find cures for children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases through research and treatment.
St. Jude has treated children from all 50 states and from around the world. On average, 7,800 active patients visit the hospital each year, most of whom are treated on an outpatient basis.
St. Jude is the first and only pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute.