Driven by their parents’ battles with cancer, three Saint Andrew's teens unite to raise money for research
Lifelong friends Jackson Parke, Elijah Nelson and Ben Silverstein take fundraising for better cancer treatments and cures to heart.
Bonded by their parents’ experiences with cancer, the three 15-year-old students at Saint Andrew’s School in Boca Raton, Florida, have raised thousands of dollars for cancer research at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.
“All of us have a parent who has been affected by cancer, so we are very touched by the work being done at Sylvester,” said Jackson, whose father has been battling kidney cancer since 2009.
In eighth grade, they joined forces for their school’s community service project and raised $5,276 by organizing a 3v3 basketball tournament.
Last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they redoubled their efforts and set up a crowdfunding campaign through UCARE, a University of Miami Health System fundraising platform. With hard work and dedication, they raised a total of $10,006. The boys were moved by the generosity of their community.
“It felt nice that everyone wanted to help our cause,” said Elijah, whose mother lost her battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in August. “Not just Boca, but Palm Beach, Parkland, even New York. Basically, all of our network came together to support us.”
The boys say the experience has bonded them for life and inspires them to forge ahead in their philanthropic efforts in memory of both Elijah’s mother, and Ben’s mother, who passed away from cancer a couple of years ago. The total funds raised will be split toward kidney, pancreatic and brain cancer research in honor of their parents. For more on the students' story, click here.
This article ran in UM Sylvester's November Newsletter
A non-profit, independent, co-educational school for grades Pre-K - 12, Saint Andrew's School is a private day and boarding school located in Boca Raton, educating the best students from across Palm Beach County, Florida, the United States, and throughout the world in the Episcopal tradition.