Students launch “Ignite Action with Purpose’ for childhood cancer research awareness


By Monica Salmeri

According to a recent survey of the Oshkosh community, 44 percent of people ages 18-24 know a child who has been diagnosed with cancer. With only four percent of the National Cancer Institute’s budget dedicated to childhood cancer research, students are aiming to bring awareness to childhood cancer research issues.

Public relations students at UW Oshkosh are partnering with With Purpose, a nonprofit organization focused on childhood cancer research. The students have created the “Ignite Action with Purpose” campaign featuring two events and a comprehensive social media plan aiming to educate and inspire the Oshkosh community.

According to Families of Children with Cancer, five children per month are diagnosed with cancer in Northeast Wisconsin.

“This topic needs to be discussed,” UW Oshkosh student Catie Schultz said. “Adding the youth voice to such a meaningful topic and educating our community has been very rewarding.” 

With Purpose is a youth and community-led movement dedicated to making sure kids with cancer have access to safe and effective treatment options.

Only three new drugs have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of childhood cancer since the 1970s. With Purpose strives to combat the lack of childhood cancer treatments by bringing awareness to the issue, supporting Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute and advocating for Kids V Cancer.  

With Purpose was recently listed as an advocacy institution for the Research to Accelerate Cures and Equity, RACE, for Children Act. This piece of legislation passed in 2017 and requires pharmaceutical companies to test their cancer drugs for children’s cancer.

To make a difference for childhood cancer research and Ignite Action With Purpose the Oshkosh community is invited to participate in the following events:

On Feb. 23 community members can Paint With Purpose. This all-day paint event takes place at Fire Escape in Oshkosh from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. During the event 15 percent of proceeds will benefit With Purpose. Attendees will have the option to donate their artwork to childhood cancer patients at local hospitals.

On Feb. 24 the community is invited to a social at Mahoney’s Restaurant and Bar in Oshkosh from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. where donated artwork will be displayed and attendees will hear from With Purpose founder Erin Benson. There will also be a drawing for prizes from local vendors.

There are opportunities to donate directly to With Purpose at both events.

To learn more Igniting Action With Purpose visit:

 Monica Salmeri is president of the Dr. Julie Henderson Public Relations Student Society of America Chapter at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.


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