New student group raises funds, awareness for pediatric cancers

ForTheKidsLogoBy Abigail Loop
Staff Writer

A new student organization plans to bring funds and awareness to pediatric cancers.

For The Kids is now accepting members, with an open interest meeting set for Tuesday.

Cranston, R.I., junior Prashant Appikatla is president of the organization and said the idea behind For The Kids originated from the discovery of a similar club at Pennsylvania State University, which hosted a marathon to raise awareness for pediatric cancer.

“We were inspired by what we saw coming from Penn State and wanted to do something like that,” Appikatla said. “Our primary goal is to raise money for research and support treatment for pediatric cancer to help foster and find a cure more quickly.”

Appikatla said their main plan is hosting a dance marathon to raise money for two organizations that are involved with pediatric cancer research and care, McLane Children’s Hospital Scott and White in Temple and the Curing Children’s Cancer Fund in Houston.

The date for the marathon is not yet set.

Appikatla said group members are trying to split the donations equally between the hospital in Temple and the fund in Houston so money can go toward both the research and the treatment of pediatric cancer.

Jennifer Williams, philanthropy coordinator at McLane Children’s Hospital, said she is glad to see students passionate about the cause and hopes that this will create a snowball effect on campus.

“These students should realize that every dollar counts and that sick and injured kids of Central Texas depend on them to help provide cutting-edge equipment, programs and research,” Williams said. “Students are an important part of philanthropy because their generations are full of leaders.”

According to the American Childhood Cancer Organization, each year in the U.S. there are approximately 13,400 children between the ages of birth and 19 years who are diagnosed with cancer.

Appikatla said what makes For The Kids different from other student organizations such as Up ‘till Dawn, which raises money for patient care at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, is that For The Kids is focused more on the research aspect of pediatric cancer in order to find a cure to put a stop to children dying of cancer.

“I think the good thing about this is that it brings in a different side of pediatric cancer,” he said. “We want to help those who are fighting against cancer and also believe that it’s crucial a cure is found.”

Next semester, members of For The Kids will be put on awareness campaigns around campus as well begin fundraising to support their two chosen organizations.

Students interested in learning more about For The Kids can contact Appikatla at