Pangborn third-grader leads fight against cancer

May 24, 2010|By JULIE E. GREENE
  • Lindsey Draheim, a third-grader at Pangborn Elementary School, is leading a Relay For Life team of students in grades kindergarten through five. Lindsey's grandmother Joyce Monnett of Maugansville died of cancer when Lindsey was 1 1/2 years old. Monnett is pictured on Lindsey's T-shirt.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer,

HAGERSTOWN -- Lindsey Draheim is following in her mother's footsteps and branching out on her own at the same time.

After being a part of mother Nicky's Relay for Life team, Lindsey, 8, started her own this year.

Lindsey said she wanted to captain her own team, which is called Kids Cancer Fighters.

The team consists of 16 youths, ranging from kindergartners to fifth-graders, said Lindsey, a third-grader at Pangborn Elementary School.

Relays for Life are American Cancer Society events in which teams camp out, with team members taking turns walking or running around a path for up to 24 hours, according to The event raises awareness about cancer and money to fight cancer as teams hold various fundraisers leading up to and at the event.

Kids Cancer Fighters are participating in the Relay for Life at Fairgrounds Park in Hagerstown's East End. Opening ceremonies will be June 18 at 6 p.m., said Cathy Thomas, community manager for the American Cancer Society's Washington County office.


"I think it's great. The younger we get these kids involved, and they're educated about the dangers of the cigarettes and all the early prevention things we teach, the better," Thomas said.

Even at the age of 8, Lindsey is no stranger to cancer.

"My Grammy died of cancer in 2003 and my Pap Pap had cancer," said Lindsey, who lives east of Hagerstown. Pap Pap, Hagerstown resident Richard Monnett, is doing well and no longer has cancer, according to Lindsey and Nicky Draheim.

As team captain, Lindsey sets the agenda for meetings, educates her teammates about cancer prevention and gave a speech to her team during an ice cream social.

So far, Kids Cancer Fighters has been collecting donations from friends and family members, and collecting dimes in water bottles. One full bottle can hold about $100, Lindsey said.

Lindsey's bottle was almost half full a week ago.

Before her father, Leonard Draheim, puts his jeans in the washer, he puts his change in a bowl, she said. She and her mom collected some dimes from the bowl, she said.

"We're going to try to raise $400, but I'd really like them to raise $1,000," Lindsey said.

If her team raises $400, Lindsey said her mom will hold a pizza party for the team this summer.

Some of her teammates have already raised $100 apiece, she said.

Kids Cancer Fighters consists of Lindsey, Jack Brown, Natalie Asbury, Taylor Hammond, Sydney Hammond, Hana Fuller, Mary Miller, Grace Miller, Olivia Brown, Madeline Goldstein, Lauren Asbury, Nathaniel Goldstein, Maddie Gilliam, Gabby Brown, Sullivan McGee and Kristina Newlin.

As of May 17, the team had raised more than $818, Lindsey said.

"I think they're doing great," she said.

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