CCA student presents $4,000 check to St. Jude

CCA senior Kiara Blacher and Jennifer Castell from St. Jude during a brief handover ceremony.
(Luke Harold)

After recovering from some serious symptoms caused by a bacterial infection known as Bartonella, Canyon Crest Academy senior Kiara Blacher started Kids for a Cure as a way to raise money to help others get through their own illnesses.

“I had access to really good doctors who were able to diagnose me early, and it helped me realize I could’ve been a lot worse off if I didn’t have that access,” she said. “That’s why I started Kids for a Cure, to help other people have access to medical care.”

Over the past year, she raised $4,000 that she presented as a check to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which helps children and their families fight childhood cancers, during a brief ceremony held at Canyon Crest Academy on April 20.

“It taught me a lot about how even though I’m sick, I was still able to pull all of this off and it was really fun to help people,” Kiara said.

Referring to St. Jude, she added, “I really like their core values of giving access to anyone who needs help, no matter their religious, financial or racial background.”

“When children are diagnosed with cancer, obviously that’s a really big deal for their families,” said Jennifer Castell, a regional managing director for St. Jude’s, who attended the ceremony. “So the way that St. Jude’s supports them is that no family ever receives a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food. All they have to worry about is helping their child live. That’s one of the main ways that this $4,000 will help children and families across the world.”

Kiara said Kids for a Cure is in the middle of planning its second benefit concert. The first one was held last summer in Pacific Beach.

“We’re hoping it will be even better than the last one,” she said.

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