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DI Students Raise $7,000 to Support Child Battling Brain Cancer

By: Debra Pentz, DI Team Manager

When making a plea to help 7-year-old Cade Humphreys, who was battling brain cancer, team member Zac Strugar put it best when he said, “I’m sure you have all had days where you wake up not knowing what the next day will bring or if you are even going to make it through that day. Cade Humphreys has this every day. So if you could help us help Cade to wake up every day knowing that he will make it and that there is no need to worry, it would make all the difference.”

This 6-student Project Outreach team from Boulder Country Day School in Boulder, CO raised $7,000 for the Tyler Robinson Foundation to support a local child, Cade Humphreys, in his battle against brain cancer.

They aimed high and exceeded even their own expectations. Over the course of several weeks, the kids decided they wanted to help a child with cancer, found a family in need, and recruited a non-profit foundation with expertise in assisting families battling cancer to be a partner and administer funds raised to Cade’s family. They settled on the Tyler Robinson Foundation (TRF) after researching five to six other options. TRF was a new foundation that just happened to be created by the band Imagine Dragons, in their friend Tyler’s name.

The kids had their plan, but how could they carry it out? Questions abounded:
  • How can we raise money, we’re just kids?
  • What should our fundraiser be?
  • What happens if no one comes to our fundraiser?
  • What is an elevator pitch?
  • Will the Tyler Robinson Foundation work with us?
The team created their elevator pitch, picked up the phone and had a conference call with TRF director, Jesse Robinson.  They were extremely nervous, but confident and bold in their requests. They pitched their cause and requested that TRF:
  • Spend all funds the kids raised to support Cade’s family
  • Donate 10 Imagine Dragon concert tickets for the team to raffle off at a fundraiser
  • Let them sell TRF merchandise to help raise funds
Their jaws dropped to the ground as Jesse, inspired and moved by the kids’ desire to help, said ‘yes’ to each request!  The kids needed to act fast.  They were ready to raise funds for a great cause and wanted to proceed in three ways:
  • Hold a fundraiser at their school, Clap for Cade, where they would attempt to break a world record for the most people playing clapping games.
  • Request funds and/or items to be auctioned off from local businesses.
  • Create an online fundraiser.

All three methods succeeded, but the most exciting and inspiring was their “Clap for Cade” event. Nearly 300 people attended, Imagine Dragons tickets and merchandise were given away, there were games, and a world record was attempted. The Lieutenant Governor even showed up to Clap for Cade. The best part was that the kids planned and ran it all. They ran the games, emceed the event, and managed the volunteers.

The most heartwarming moment was when Cade and his Dad Skyped in on the big screen from the hospital to thank everyone who was supporting them. Through all these efforts, the kids raised $7,000 to support Cade’s battle against cancer. As good as that was, it was equally important that these six kids learned they could truly help a child in need and make a difference in the world.

The kids were so wrapped up in helping Cade, they wound up having only eight days to prepare for their regional competition. They knew that they had already achieved their goal, so the competition was secondary. They advanced from the Regional Tournament to the Affiliate Tournament, and then qualified for Global Finals.

The team’s hard work and heart inspired Jesse Robinson and the band Imagine Dragons so much that they gave the kids free tickets to their Denver concert. At the show, the team got to deliver the check to the band in person!

          Team Boulder Country Day School backstage with Imagine Dragons. 

 

Mid-summer, Cade left the hospital after all of his treatments were complete. As of today, Cade is free of cancer! His brain scans are clear. He is enjoying being a kid again, attending school full time, and spending time with friends and family.

The kids are grateful for Destination Imagination, and they will be able to carry these amazing experiences with them for the rest of their lives.

Have a team story you would like to share with us? Email us at [email protected].