Kickin’ Cancer service project started by St. Andrews student
By Maria Dalmasso
Laurinburg, NC - At the first Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) Hunter Seat competition of the season Emilee Wilson, a transfer student who started at St. Andrews this Fall, sat in a booth selling t-shirts and bracelets for a new service project she created, Kickin’ Cancer.
She created the project in honor of her father, Mack Wilson, after he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.
“My whole family went out to dinner and my Mom gave us all these bracelets that said ‘Kickin’ Cancer’ on them and we all said we wouldn’t take them off until he beats it,” Wilson said.
While she has had a lot of cancer among her family and friends, “It’s a totally different feeling when it’s your own parent. He’s like the Superman in our family. We rely on him so much. When he found out he had cancer he felt like he wasn’t Superman anymore.”
Wilson’s father, who has continued to work and travel throughout his illness, didn’t know about the project until he came to see the show that day.
“He had no clue,” Wilson said. “He got really teared up, and I’ve only seen him cry twice in my lifetime.”
In response to the turn out, he said, “This is so weird, I don’t feel like I even have cancer.”
Wilson has started the project off by selling t-shirts and bracelets. All 60 t-shirts sold within the first hour. She then started an order, making around $800 in total on the first day.
“I was so shocked” she said. She is currently planning to add some additional products for upcoming shows.
There is also a board for anyone wanting to either remember or honor someone they knew with cancer.
“It’s totally filled,” she said.
In addition to the merchandise and general donations, a dollar from each entry fee will be given to Kickin’ Cancer at every show in the region this year. Out of the 11 schools in this region, one student representative from each school will form a committee to plan future fundraisers for future shows.
All of the proceeds are being donated to the American Cancer Society.
“I didn’t want to focus on just one area of cancer,” Wilson said. “I wanted to do something that would help everyone. I want it to get big. I would love to get the community beyond St. Andrews involved in it.”
Kickin’ Cancer T-shirts are being sold for $15 and bracelets for $5 at all home IHSA (zone 3 and 4) shows. General donations are also welcome. For more information or to donate, contact Emilee Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org.