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Fourteen-year-old Fundraises for Conquer Cancer Foundation

Aug 02, 2011

The Conquer Cancer Foundation was recently contacted by a high school freshman from Plainview, NY, who wanted to help make a difference in cancer care by donating funds he had raised for the Foundation. At only 14 years old, Tyler Fenton has roused his friends and family to action against cancer and inspired hope within and beyond his community.

In 2007, Tyler’s mother, Marla, was diagnosed with breast cancer. The sobering news caused the 10-year-old to mature quickly as he watched his family come together to help her battle the disease. Marla is currently a four-year breast cancer survivor.

“As a 10-year-old, I understood most of what was going on with my mom but had no idea the many ways that this would affect my life,” Tyler wrote on his fundraising website. “My anxiety and fears grew. The worst part was not knowing the outcome of my mom’s treatmentswould they work and save her and would I have my mom back?”

Tyler set out to conquer his fear of cancer and help others facing the same diagnosis. For his bar mitzvah project at age 13, he collected supplies for a patient clinic in his area, including blankets, DVDs, and other treats to provide comfort for the patients.

But that wasn’t enough: for his 14th birthday, Tyler wanted to organize a fundraising event for cancer research. With the help of a family friend who could donate a gymnasium for the day, he held a spinning (indoor cycling) party and accepted donations. Marla's oncologist, Mark L. Citron, MD, Chief of Oncology at ProHEALTH in Long Island and an ASCO member, suggested the proceeds benefit the Conquer Cancer Foundation.

After the party, Tyler continued to raise money to benefit the Foundation, engaging his network and community through Facebook, email, and door-to-door solicitations. Friends, family, and local businesses have been very supportive of his efforts and he intends to continue holding annual spinning fundraising parties.

A star athlete, student, and now philanthropist, Tyler said, “I take pride in everything I do, and I never do anything half-way.” In total, Tyler has raised more than $5,000 for the Conquer Cancer Foundation.

“Tyler is an incredibly remarkable young man and an inspiration to many people,” said Nancy Daly, Executive Director of the Foundation. “We are honored to be the beneficiary of his efforts, and are excited to collaborate with him to help create a world free from the fear of cancer.”

Tyler is proud of his work for the Foundation, and shares the Foundation’s mission: “The word ‘conquer’ in Conquer Cancer Foundation means everything to me. That is the ultimate goal for everyone who fights cancer.”

To learn more about Tyler’s fundraising efforts, visit his website.

By Kelsey Parrish
ASCO Staff
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