FEATURE — October 22, 2015 at 2:47 am

Not My Daughter, a race for a cure

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The Sparrow family: (from left to right) Kristen, Lauren and Erika Sparrow

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For the Sparrow family, this means banding together to raise money to help find a cure for this terrible disease that has claimed the lives of millions. Kristen Sparrow is a 12th grader and her sister Erica is a 10th grader at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Along with their mother Lauren, they have been members of “Not My Daughter Find a Cure Now” (NMD) for 4 years. According to their mother, their goal is to raise money for breast cancer research, in hopes to find a cure so their daughters and granddaughters won’t have to endure this horrible disease.

“I wanted to be part of the NMD committee because I wanted to do my share in helping raise money to find a cure for breast cancer. I feel that too many women, some near and dear to me, have been struck with breast cancer,” Lauren said.

Neither Kristen nor Erica had any second thoughts about joining NMD when their mom told them about the group.

“It feels really good knowing that I am making a difference and helping make our events successful,” Kristen said.

They volunteer throughout the year preparing for fund raising events. Erica said that they work together with the adults, however, they also have their own teen group. There are about 30 girls involved and they are always looking for more members to join the cause. When they are getting ready for a fund raising event, the teen group meets every couple of weeks to go over plans for the events and the jobs that they will do, like trying to get raffle certificates and find sponsors.

Kristen said she feels good knowing that she is making a difference and helping make the fund raising events successful. Kristen and Erica see that they can make a difference and still have fun.

Breast cancer is a heavy topic. But Kristen and Erica know that it is a deadly disease that affects a lot of people.

“They [the teen group members] know breast cancer is a deadly disease but there are a lot of different types. They understand that there are different stages as well, and if detected early enough, your chances of recovery are greater. They realize the importance of getting yearly mammograms starting at the age of 40,” Lauren said.

Being involved in NMB has shown members of the teen group that even though they are “just” teenagers, they can make a difference.

NMD has raised over $450,000 over their 4 years and Kristen and Erica have been a part of making that happen! If you are interested in learning more about NMD, see their website: www.notmydaughterfindacurenow.com. You can also find them on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/…/Not-My-Daughter-Find-a-Cure-Now.

Taylor Morrison

Taylor Morrison is a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She plays flute in the Eagle Regiment Marching Band. She also enjoys participating in track and field.

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