Michael, 9, and James, 7, live in Norfolk, Mass., with their parents, Melissa and Mike, and their younger sister, Annie. As a family, they love to be outside, play in the backyard, and spend their weekends being silly.
In September 2022, their cousin Megan was diagnosed with osteosarcoma and began treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Jimmy Fund Clinic. Around the same time, Michael and James participated in their first-ever fundraiser to raise money for a disease their friend’s mother was suffering from at the time. That experience was an inspiration for them and helped them see the bridge between hard work and giving back.
Now bit by the philanthropic bug, Michael and James wanted to find a way to help their cousin, Megan, and other kids like her. Their dad and some other family friends were coming together to shave their heads and fundraise in support of Megan’s journey. That same weekend, the boys found their own way to help Megan. They came up with the idea of “Kindling for Cancer” to get their community involved and raise funds for the Jimmy Fund.
“With a bunch of neighborhood kids, along with some parents in our neighborhood, the kids got to work. Michael chopped the wood, while some of the neighborhood girls packed it into kindling bags. James and the other neighborhood kids got markers and made posters. While Michael was busy making the kindling, the rest of the kids held signs on the street to flag down cars while others went door-to-door to sell the wood,” says Melissa, mother of Michael and James.
Through this fundraising initiative, the boys raised more than $1,200 for the Jimmy Fund with the help of their neighborhood friends. When asked about fundraising in the future, Michael says he wants to have a lemonade stand to continue giving back to the Jimmy Fund.
If you are interested in hosting your own fundraiser for the Jimmy Fund, fill out our online inquiry form or contact our community events team at JimmyFundEvents@dfci.harvard.edu.
Help support these efforts by joining The Dana-Farber Campaign, our ambitious, multi-year fundraising effort to prevent, treat, and defy cancer. The Dana-Farber Campaign will accelerate the Institute’s strategic priorities by supporting revolutionary science, extraordinary care, and exceptional expertise. As a community, we have the power to create a more hopeful, cancer-free future—in Boston and around the world. Together, we can defy cancer at every turn. Learn more about The Dana-Farber Campaign and how you can get involved at DefyCancer.org.