Childhood cancer awareness hits home in Tazewell County - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Childhood cancer awareness hits home in Tazewell County


September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. In the U.S., more than 15,000 children under the age of 21 are diagnosed with cancer every year.

Thursday, the Tazewell community did its part to honor childhood cancer patients.

It's a sad fact. Cancer can be found everywhere...hospitals, nursing homes, on the street, and even in the school classroom. Thursday, Tazewell County schools went gold to support childhood cancer awareness. A sickness that hits close to home for one North Tazewell Elementary first-grader.

"It felt bad. I couldn't go outside," says Reese McCall, a childhood cancer survivor.

Reese has faced a tough reality in her short years of life...she fought cancer and won...Reagan, her best friend from treatment, sadly lost the fight.

"She died, it's very hard," says McCall. 

The Tazewell county community has been hit hard by childhood cancer. 14 kids that are fighting or have fought the sickness. That's 14 families just trying to keep it together, 14 times a desk in a classroom like this has been empty for too long.

"Right now, he's doing good, but I really want him home and better," says Alley Whitt. 

Alley is in first grade too, and now she spends every day without her younger brother by her side...16-month-old Hunter is in the St. Jude Hospital in Memphis battling cancer. Thursday was a busy day for Alley.

"We're going to make cards and pictures to send, and I'm going to put 'I love you baby brother,'" says Whitt. 

Jill Rasnick was decked out in gold Thursday too...she lost her son T.J. to cancer when he was a senior at Tazewell High School. Now she spends her days honoring his life through the T.J. Rasnick Foundation.

"It brings up so many memories for me, and it is hard, but I want to do it, I want to help to do something in T.J.'s honor," says Rasnick. knows no race, no gender, no place, and no age. But among the darkness, there is always a little light.

Thursday night a candlelight vigil was held to honor those in the community affected by childhood cancer.

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