Olathe school helps teen raise thousands for kids with cancer
OLATHE, Kan. – A simple pair of shoes carried a powerful message at Olathe South High School on Friday.
High school fundraising raised more than $4,000 for college student Aly Arenholz’s “Kick Cancer Like a Girlboss” charity, which was founded after she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and a few other conditions.
When a family friend gave her $450 for whatever she wanted, Aly’s mom Jessica said it started a long journey.
“Then she said, ‘Well, I’m going to design some Converse myself, and I’m going to donate the rest,'” Jessica said.
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The donation was intended to help a few other children who were going through similar health problems design their own shoes. She hoped the shoes lifted kids up the same way they lifted her during doctor’s appointments and hospital visits.
“Just to give them a little light when everything is super stressful,” Aly said. “No kid should have to go through that or anything like that.”
When word of Aly’s charity work came to teacher Nick Cook during her own treatment, he was floored.
“I’m like, ‘What?’ She started a charity while she has cancer,” Cook recalled.
But then Cook brought the Olathe South family together and raised more than $4,000 to help Aly’s charity buy more shoes for more kids.
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In just a few months, Kick Cancer Like a Girlboss has already raised more than $11,000 and donated more than 200 shoes to children across the country. If you want to contribute, you can donate through Venmo at ‘TeamAly’.
“All the posts were really nice with all the parents just thanking you and sending pictures of the kids with their shoes on, and it’s just nice to see them super smiley,” Aly said.
For her efforts, Aly’s reward was thanking some of the teachers who raised the most money with a benign pie to the face at a pep rally on Friday.
“One day, [Aly] said, ‘Mom, I’m glad it was me who got the cancer and not my friends, because I can handle it. I’ve got this,” Jessica said.
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