CarriageTowneNews.com, Kingston, NH

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September 27, 2012

A Local Family's Mission To Raise Childhood Cancer Awareness

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Michelle and I spoke regularly of our desire to help others in memory of Cole through efforts of childhood cancer awareness, fund-raising for research, and possibly starting a scholarship fund in Cole's name. Still mired in grief we often told others that those efforts will happen someday but probably not for quite awhile. We truly believed that it would take at least a year or more before we were emotionally strong enough to participate in such endeavors. A few weeks ago, my daughter Tara hearing that September was "Childhood Cancer Awareness" month expressed to my wife that she wanted to do something in Cole's memory to help other children battling cancer. Michelle, a kindergarden teacher, was extremely busy preparing for the new school year. However, she sat down with Tara and they came up with an idea they called "Coins for Cole." They planned on asking local businesses if they could place "Coins for Cole" canisters on their counters with the money raised going to help fund childhood cancer research. They also asked many businesses if they would allow volunteers to stand outside of their business for a few hours on weekends to collect donations.

The response was amazing, businesses began contacting Michelle asking how they could help. Friends from all over New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine sent messages expressing their desire to help in any way possible. We were extremely touched and overwhelmed by so many people reaching out to help us once again. One of my frustrations through Cole's year and a half long battle with cancer, was the realization that not enough funding or attention is directed towards pediatric cancer. I struggled for a way to bring childhood cancer awareness to a much greater level. I created a Facebook page I called, "A Day of Yellow and Gold to Fight Childhood Cancer." This year I chose September 28. If enough of us can do something as simple as wearing yellow and gold on the same day I believe that this could get the ball rolling towards creating the attention our little heroes and angels deserve. In the words of our beloved son Cole, I wish you all..."Smile Be Happy."

If you would like to help us in our effort to raise awareness and funding for childhood cancer, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/yellowandgoldforcole and search: Coins for Cole - on Facebook.

Tony Stoddard

Sandown

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