OC students encourage Oklahomans to help build hope for childhood cancer patients The students’ Help Build Hope With Purpose campaign to Oklahomans highlights the need for better funding and treatments for children with cancer.

Feb 23, 2018

Oklahoma Christian University students want Oklahomans to come together to do more to fight childhood cancer. For the next month, students across campus are highlighting the need for more funding and research in childhood cancer treatments.

Partnering with the national nonprofit, With Purpose, OC students are promoting their campaign with the Public Relations Student Society Of America Bateman’s case study competition. The OC campaign is directed by Eagle PR, a student-led public relations firm, and works with nonprofits such as the Toby Keith Foundation, Eagles Health Initiative and the Brave, Bald and Beautiful group.

With Purpose was founded by two parents whose son, Sam, passed away at the age of 2 due to childhood cancer and lack of sufficient treatments. Sam’s parents decided to start With Purpose as an effort to push for better treatment options for childhood cancer patients.

“We were shocked to learn that one in five children diagnosed with cancer will not survive,” said OC student Mandolin Skipworth, director of Eagle PR. “In addition, the National Cancer Institute only designates 4 percent of its research budget to childhood cancer. Many of us know a child that has cancer. Our team wants to encourage Oklahomans to help children with cancer to have access to the treatment they need.”

OC students invite those around Oklahoma City to join in the campaign. Students have spent three days at two locations inviting people to write encouragement cards to children fighting cancer. The students visited Putnam City North High School, OC and Oklahoma Christian Academy. The cards will be delivered to patients at OU Children’s Hospital and Bethany Children’s Rehabilitation Hospital. A representative from the Toby Keith Foundation will speak to about 800 OC students on March 13 to encourage them to support children fighting cancer. OC students are also collaborating on events with Eagles Health Initiative, an organization dedicated to improving overall health in the community.

EHI President and biology major Whitney Hall believes the campaign will help more people realize that they can make a difference in fighting childhood cancer.

Cancer is devastating. No one dreams that this unexpected nightmare would ever become a reality for their child or grandchild, but it is a reality in so many lives,” Hall said. “Every child deserves the opportunity to have the best treatment possible.”

OC students are also encouraging the community to support With Purpose by attending a livestream of a Help Build Hope event on March 10. The OC students will livestream With Purpose’s Lincoln Log build that seeks to break world records for the tallest and biggest Lincoln Log structures. The OC event will feature activities for students and families. The group encourages individuals to sponsor a Lincoln Log at www.helpbuildhopewp.com/lincolnlogs. Donors are encouraged to use the hashtag #helpbuildhope when making a donation.