Harford County Teen Beats Cancer, Creates We Cancerve To Help Others

As part of the Harford All-County Band, middle-schooler Grace Callwood, 14, shares her love of music. She plays the French horn and trumpet. She said school and reading are also among her favorite things to do.

"I love to do community service. I like to do a lot of things," Grace said.

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The teenager is extremely busy, doing community service through an organization she created herself called We Cancerve.

A challenge in her young life inspired the name and spelling.

"When I was 7 years old I was diagnosed with cancer and put into a new and scary, sad situation. And so I realized that my sad situation wasn't my fault, and I wanted to bring that realization to other homeless, sick and foster kids," Grace said.

Grace was diagnosed with stage four non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Despite her enthusiasm to create her organization, another hurdle crossed her path.

"She kept wanting to do things. I kept saying, 'No, Grace.' So much had changed in her life. She was no longer in school. She had to be home schooled. That was devastating for her to not be around her friends," said her mother T'Jae Ellis.

Despite this, Grace persisted.

"And I was just like, 'No, Mom. I want to do this.' I had to prove to her I could," she said.

We Cancerve includes a youth board of directors and plenty of volunteers.

One of their projects is putting together and delivering what she calls "transfuners kits," which are given to sick children in area hospitals. Each one includes a pillowcase and materials to decorate it.

"The pillowcase goes over their IV pole to cover any blood transfusions or medicine they might have through their IV -- to cover it so they don't have to be reminded every time they look up," Grace said.

Another project is called "Hookup a Home," where they clean for oncology patients.

Days ago, Grace was diagnosed as cancer free.

"I am healthy. I am good. I haven't relapsed or anything," Grace said.

"I'm very proud of the work she's doing, but I'm most proud of the person she is," Ellis said.

"She has so many ideas. I say, 'How do you come up with that? OK, we'll just do it,'" said her father, Theodore Ellis.

Grace hopes the efforts of We Cancerve inspire others.

"There's no age limit on service and there's always a way that you can help," she said.

Grace and We Cancerve have won numerous awards, including last year's Governor's Black History Month Community Leaders Award. The organization has donated more than $15,000 in cash grants and $50,000 in products to hospitals, shelters and other organizations.

Last year alone, the Harford County middle school student helped more than 5,000 children through an organization she founded herself.

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Source : https://www.wbaltv.com/article/harford-county-teen-beats-cancer-creates-we-cancerve/26288820

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