Lori Gray’s family knew all too well about the need for more awareness of child cancer, and local volunteers are stepping up to help contribute to that cause.
Avery Gray, 13-year-old daughter of Lori and her husband Keith Gray, had been diagnosed with cancer at age 4.
After Avery received successful treatment at Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth, she has been off treatment for 8-1/2 years and is doing well.
To promote September as International Pediatric Cancer awareness month, about 80 volunteers helped decorate the courthouse in downtown Glen Rose last Saturday evening with ribbons and about 250 signs.
The volunteers included representatives from the local Boys Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4H and FCCLA.
After that, they spread out and decorated the four GRISD school campuses with signs and ribbons as well.
Next on the awareness to-do list will be a special “Gold Out” Pep Rally event on Friday, Sept. 20, when the awareness effort will be incorporated into the Glen Rose High School football team’s weekly pep rally.
Local families known to have been effected by child cancer will be invited to attend and recognized during the pep rally.
“We just wanted to have the opportunity to honor those families,” Gray said.
Also, money will be raised later that night during the home football game against Sunnyvale when volunteers will be gathering donations on the Glen Rose side of Tiger Stadium.
That money will go to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Gray said they have also reached out to Sunnyvale to let their fans know about the collection.
Gray said the project has grown quickly.
“I really think that if the community and the kids see that this is a real problem and (that) we really need funding for it, it’ll put a face with the disease,” Lori Gray said. “Between the funding and the hands-on help, this has turned into a community event.
“We just keep being blown away. The support form the community has been unbelievable.”
Gray and Jill Lawson, the former FCCLA sponsor who is now the GRISD’s child nutrition director, got together a few months ago to plan this year’s awareness efforts.