Pink is a fine color, but nine-year-old Liam had seen enough.
Pink was everywhere, he noticed, raising a lot of awareness for breast cancer. But his mom, Jennifer Bass, had been diagnosed with colorectal cancer at age 36. The official color of colorectal cancer awareness is blue, and Liam thought it was sorely missing.
“Every time he talked to someone about how mommy has cancer, they would think it’s breast cancer,” Jennifer said. “He would come home with rants.”
Fortunately, as a member of the student council, Liam had the power to make a difference — with a little help.
Liam and his teacher
“One day, he was talking to his teacher, the student council’s advisor, about how it would be really great to see his whole school go blue in support of me and everyone battling CRC,” Jennifer said.
The answer was “yes,” and a plan was set to turn the whole school blue for spirit week in March, which happened to coincide with National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
Teachers and students alike threw their support behind Liam’s plan. They all knew Jennifer, who was an active volunteer at their school, and they also knew about another teacher’s mom who was battling the disease.
“His entire school was amazing when I went through treatments,” Jennifer said. “They sent food, and the teachers made an extra effort to check-in on the boys.”
Liam, Jennifer, and Colin
On the first day of spirit week, Liam and his co-conspirator, younger brother Colin, dressed and dyed their hair in blue, brought goodie bags for the teachers, and — as passionate and dedicated allies in the mission to end colorectal cancer — raised some much-needed awareness. Entire classes went blue.
And Liam led the student council in making cards of encouragement for kids fighting cancer, with messages like “stay strong” and “you got this!”
“I’m extremely proud,” Jennifer said. “It helps me to help other people, so to see them do that, to be my mini-advocates, to speak out and wear blue ... my momma heart was so proud!
While Liam may have a burgeoning career in public service, his mom will continue with an Ohio-based decorative cookie business. Jennifer recently celebrated one-year NED.
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