Your Chicago: West Suburban Students Become ‘Cancer Smashers’

DARIEN, Ill. (CBS) — In 2011, cancer killed nearly 600,000 Americans nationwide.

So, when you think of a cancer fundraiser, you don’t think of something that resembles a celebration.

But you don’t know the Cancer Smashers.

In the high school gym at Eisenhower Junior High last week, a pep rally was held to end cancer, complete with videos, cheerleaders, a band and inspirational speakers.

Cancer Smashers is the brainchild of the H Foundation, which funds cancer research through the Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern. Many of the 10- to 17-year-olds have already visited there.

“The kids created this. It was their vision, they wanted some friendly competition to get the word out in the community,” the foundation’s Dena Provenzano told CBS 2’s Rob Johnson.

Some of the kids in the foundation attend Eisenhower, and their vision was to challenge their rivals at nearby Lakeview Junior High in Downers Grove to a fundraiser. Several of the Lakeview kids had the courage to walk into the enemy’s lair, all in the name of cancer.

“Someone I know in my family has cancer, so it’s important for me to help end cancer for other families, too,” Sara Casey said.

For $1, the kids at each school will be buying fists in honor of someone, which will go up in the hallways of each respective school. By week’s end, the school with the most fists sold will be the winner.

Principals have stoked their kids’ competitive fires, taken a fierce rivalry and turned into a teaching moment.

Your Chicago with Rob & Kate

Your Chicago with Rob & Kate

Submit Your Favorites!

Tell us about your favorite places in the Chicago area. We could pick you and your idea to be on TV. Tune in every Thursday at 10pm to see ideas from viewers just like you! It’s Your Chicago!

Submit your favorite place at:

Check out picks from previous weeks:

  • Just Axin

    This is all nice, but we will never eradicate cancer. There’s been billions poured into research covering all diseases, but have we found a cure for any? Nope. One hope is for gov’t to get out of the way and allow private companies to pursue stem cell treatment.

    • Where's my cure?

      Very noble cause. But I agree with Just Axin. The Cancer Society has taken in billions of dollars and has never budged one inch in the “cure” for any form of cancer, but they won’t turn down your money from the gullible. Remember that when you buy a pink scarf, mug or pink ribbon.

  • proudmama

    I know you all seem to feel that you are unsure of what the money actually goes to. I can tell you that I know first hand that the money that these kids raised does go to one specific place, and that is Northwestern University. Not only that, the American Cancer Society along with other things need to take out some of the money for administration, etc. This fundraiser gives 100% of the money to Northwestern. We are 100% volunteer run. If we do not try in our own ways to end cancer, or at the very least find ways to help those afflicted with the disease, then we are a very sad society that has not learned to care about one another. I for one am VERY proud of these kids for seeing how it feels to try and make a difference in their world.

  • Sharon

    Please stop referring suburbs, ex. Darien, IL as Chicago, Il. Darien is a suburb and is outside of the Chicago boundary. Sometimes when I click on a site that has something of interest like coupons, etc. sites as far as Barrington, IL pop up. Can someone please make this known to your department that handles this kind of information. Thank you.

  • Chicago News Stories for Jan 28 2012 : Travel tips, hotels, restaurants, jobs and news | Travel 2 Chicago

    […] and vehicular traffic from State Street to Wabash Avenue due to falling debris, police saidYour Chicago: West Suburban Students Become ‘Cancer Smashers’In the high school gym at Eisenhower Junior High last week, a pep rally was held to end cancer, […]

  • Your Chicago: West Suburban Students Become 'Cancer Smashers … « agefimolasok
blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live