12-Year-Old Organizes Fundraiser for Childhood Cancer

Lana Harris reports.

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - There is more money for the advanced treatment of childhood cancer thanks to a 12-year-old girl and her friends.

Amelia Moscowitz decided to organize a music festival in honor of her 5-year-old friend, Sam Lee, after he died of terminal brain cancer in March earlier this year.

"Sam was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in July of 2013," said Erin Benson, Sam's mother.

Sam died after fighting for three years following his diagnosis.

"And now, moving through life without my heart is nearly impossible," Benson said.

Benson started the organization With Purpose to raise money for advanced treatment of childhood cancer to help other children facing the same diagnosis.

"So that families like ours aren't given "no hope" when their kids are diagnosed," Benson said.

After Sam passed, Benson says she did not know if she could keep the organization going.

"I wasn't sure what With Purpose would be anymore, I wasn't sure if I could do it," Benson said.

That is where Sam's neighbor and friend Moscowitz stepped in.

"I decided after his death that I had to do something," Moscowitz said.

That "something" was organizing the Jam With Purpose music festival at Coble Plaza in Columbia.

"And I could help get his mom's organization going and help it grow," Moscowitz said.

Moscowitz's mother Leigh says she was amazed.

"She came up to me with her group of friends and was like, 'hey mom, we want to do this,' and I said, 'ok, but it's going to be a lot!'" Leigh Moscowitz explained.

With the help of her friend Juliette Maxfield, the two traded a summer of pizza and video games for finding musicians, getting sponsors, setting up the location, and planning for food.
 
"A lot of people think that you have to be older or a grown up to try to organize things like this, but we just wanted to prove that kids can help cure cancer too," Maxfield said. "Instead of 'cure kid's cancer,' [we say] 'kids cure cancer.'"
 
For Benson, the kids did not just organize an event, they shed light in a dark place.
 
"It's hard to be dealt a rough hand," Benson said, "but today isn't hard. Today is lovely and inspiring and wonderful and beautiful."
 
 


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