The student news site of Vista del Lago

The Vista Voice

The student news site of Vista del Lago

The Vista Voice

The student news site of Vista del Lago

The Vista Voice

Keaton’s Child Cancer Alliance: Vista Students Uplifting Families

Helping provide invaluable resources for thousands of Northern California children with cancer
Keaton’s Child Cancer Alliance, one of Vista’s newest clubs

In June of 1997, Sacramento-area residents Robyn and Kyle Raphael witnessed their son Keaton battle cancer. Neuroblastoma, the name of the disease, was a tumor-like growth in his nervous system. It was a growth that persisted through months of chemotherapy. A growth that took Keaton Raphael’s life in February of 1998. With that, the Raphaels created Keaton’s Child Cancer Alliance. The mission: To uplift families battling cancer with financial aid, emotional resources and to further fund cancer research.

Now, years later, freshman Nora Yarlagadda and Anoushka Rajeshkumar, alongside other officers, integrated this program into our school. Both co-presidents have volunteered at Keaton’s Child Cancer Alliance for over a year and want to take action within their community.

Currently, the club is composed of mainly freshman officers. Sarayu Pasumarthi is the vice president, Abhignya Sudam serves as secretary, and Saishruthi Lakshminarayanan is the webmaster. The club has already gone into full swing, meeting every Tuesday from 3:45 to 4:15 p.m. in room H-209.

Co-president Rajeshkumar explained that although the organization is present in the Roseville area, she wanted to expand it to Folsom in hopes of reaching more citizens. “Keaton’s Child Cancer Alliance provides family-centered support services to address the emotional, financial, and educational impacts of a pediatric cancer diagnosis,” Rajeshkumar said, “we offer hope and strength through a child’s treatment along with paths toward wellness and healing beyond cancer.”

Vice President Pasumarthi elaborated on this topic. She said the members hoped to spread awareness and increase funding by hosting events. “Because of major treatment advances in recent decades, 85% of children with cancer now survive five years or more… We want to support families in treatment and close that 15% gap,” said Pasumarthi.

The club has already gathered 10 to 15 committed members and hopes to expand their team. The KCCA booth was run at Club Rush by presidents and vice presidents, all three of whom recently visited the organization’s office to get a closer look at operations.

One of the newest additions to the group, Jia Adhlaka, talks about her motivation to join this club. “I joined the club for cancer patients. It breaks me to see anyone who is fighting a disease like this and I feel equally as bad for the people who love the patient. I hope I can bring a smile to the patients who can just hope for the best,” Adhlaka said.

Although it has been a month since the club commenced, the members are confident that they’ll make a “powerful” team. “When we visited the Keaton offices, we noticed that there were a lot of staff that each specialized in one thing but created a huge impact together, and we wanted to mimic that,” said Pasumarthi.

There’s a lot left to be done, but the team is confident that they will make a difference.

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