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State Honoree

Photo of State Honoree John Ward

John Ward

South Carolina

John Coleman Ward, 13, of Chapin, S.C., an eighth-grader at Chapin Middle School, has worked with his brothers to raise more than $1,500 by selling pink prayer bracelets to help a young mother in his community with advanced breast cancer. Three years ago when John Colemans mother was homeroom mom for his brothers class, she called a new family that had arrived recently from out of state and learned that the mother of the family had been diagnosed with cancer shortly after moving to John Colemans town. She knew no one here, so my family and I decided to help out, said John Coleman. We helped arrange meals and looked after her four kids whenever she could not. But John Coleman wanted to do more. That opportunity came one Christmas when he and his brothers received a rubber-band bracelet-making kit. His brothers started making pink prayer bracelets for her, and John Coleman came up with the idea of raising money for the family and increasing breast cancer awareness by handing them out.

He and his brothers began making tons of bracelets. John Coleman sent out text blasts and emails to invite friends to help make the bracelets. Then he and his brothers started handing out their Bandz of Hope in front of a local toy store. They did not charge for the bracelets but asked for donations. John Coleman said all the money he has collected goes directly to help the woman and her family in their fight against her disease. He vowed to continue to make his bracelets as long as she needs his help. I would tell other people like me that it feels good to help others and it is the right thing to do, said John Coleman. I might not be able to cure cancer now, but I sure can make a difference by financially helping one lady fight breast cancer.