Student sparks idea to raise awareness about childhood cancer

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – In Washington, D.C. on Thursday, September 19, 2019, Senator Joe Manchin, (D-West Virginia) introduced a resolution recognizing September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The resolution addressed the impact cancer has on children and their families and the need for more research.

Senator Manchin got the idea during a recent visit to George Washington High School. Nick Spence is a senior at the school and he is also a cancer survivor.

“That morning I had no idea he was coming,” Spence said. He was surprised to hear Senator Manchin was visiting his high school. While he was sitting in the town hall meeting Manchin hosted, Spence had an idea. “Halfway through I was like I should ask him to do something about this.”

A few years ago Spence was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer. His right leg had to be amputated above the knee. He asked to speak with Senator Manchin after the Town Hall to ask him to take the topic of childhood cancer to Capitol Hill.

“I figured well the state level is good but let’s get this national because this is more than just a West Virginia thing this is a whole country, whole United States thing,” Spence said.

That spur of the moment conversation lead to bigger things than he could have ever imagined.

Manchin agreed that it would be a great idea and before Spence knew it he was getting calls from the senator’s staff.

“Hopefully it brings more funding because I think there are like four drugs that have been developed since the ’80s and I really hope with recognizing it nationally that someone is like we need to develop more stuff and help these kids,” Spence said.

You can find out more about Childhood Cancer Awareness Month on the American Childhood Cancer Organization’s website.

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