As Branham’s Homecoming week came to end, word began to spread of the following week: Dig Pink week. With the understanding that Dig Pink was related to cancer awareness, students donned pink and participated in Penny Wars, a schoolwide game involving donations to a good cause.
Oddly, many didn’t ask what this good cause was, and where their money was going. All they knew was that it was for cancer. However, it’s much more than just that. Each charity has its own story, and Cancer CAREpoint is no exception. Brad Leary is the Director of Patient and Family Services of this nonprofit, and helps with the emotional and mental toll cancer takes on the patients, as well as their families, on a day-to-day basis. He has been doing this type of hands-on and direct work for 15 years. When it comes to charities, people often wonder how the staff end up working there. For his reason on joining CAREpoint, Leary says he likes how Cancer CAREpoint , “…provided non-cost medical care for cancer patients,” and feels that he, “could make an impact on cancer patients.” To help those in need when in the position to do so is an important thing to Leary. He says that it gives him purpose and makes the moments spent in life meaningful and more rewarding.
One story that has stuck with him the most is that of a 20-year-old immigrant from Vietnam. The patient had just moved to the United States, with very little money and discovered that he had cancer. The patient came to Cancer CAREpoint scared and uncertain, but was able to leave with better communication to his family and girlfriend, as well as a new air of confidence. In this tale, Leary saw first-hand how his involvement made a difference in this man’s life. Helping this person has allowed Leary to see how he can positively influence the world and serve a purpose.
The money that Branham accumulates goes directly to funding stories like this, lives that have been improved through Cancer CAREpoint.