MINNEAPOLIS - What happens in our childhood shapes who we become later in life. That’s certainly the case for Julia Lucas. Watching her mom beat cancer as a small child made her want to help others. So, she is. And, you can help.
When Betsy Lucas was diagnosed she and her husband had just started a new chapter in their lives, their family.
“It was devastating. Molly was a baby. Julia was three,” Betsy says.
“First of all, the odds that I were up against were not good,” she explains.
Betsy was diagnosed with CML, a blood-cancer. With her two tiny babies, she began to fight.
“Three months in the hospital away from my kids was probably the most painful process, but they also gave a lot of inspiration to do the hard work that was ahead of me."
Twelve years later, Betsy is cancer-free, and it turns out she was just as much an inspiration to her girls as they were to her.
"I'm really lucky. I'm grateful for that, but it's also really important for me that other families get to have the same outcome as I do,” says Julia.
The 15-year-old isn't just talking, she's taking action. For the next several weeks Julia is raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She’s competing in the LLS Student of the Year program.
"About five years before my mom was diagnosed a drug called Gleevec was approved and LLS funded the research that lead to the drug being approved so they were a big part of getting my mom in to remission,” she says.
More money means more research, so Julia is shooting for the stars.
Her goal? 50 thousand dollars.
“It's ambitious, but it's really important to me because if I reach 50-thousand dollars, I get to name a research grant for my mom. For example, I could choose CML and I could put her name on it like the “Betsy Lucas Research grant”. And, so that money would go towards funding researchers that are making new treatments that will help a lot of people,” Julia explains.
"It's really heartwarming. I'm incredibly proud of her," says mom.
“Even though I can never pay LLS back for all the great things they've done for me and my family, if there's any way I can contribute to other families, and their treatments, and eventually having the same positive result that our family has, that's something that's really important to me and I'd be really grateful."
Want to help her out? Donate here.