Red Oak children learn about cancer

Published 12:01 am Friday, September 19, 2014

Members of the Red Oak Baptist Church are hoping to raise awareness about childhood cancer with the younger members of the congregation.

During Wednesday night’s weekly AWANA meeting, the children were encouraged to wear yellow in support of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

“We explained to them what they were wearing yellow for,” Elaine Bulger, member of the church who knows first hand the effects of childhood cancer, said. “I think the majority of the children understood why they were wearing yellow.”

Bulger said a family member died from childhood leukemia.

“We expressed that someone in all families are touched by this disease,” she said. “We do random acts of kindness, but last night was just all about having them wear yellow in support.”

Bulger said they have also supported Cooper Sasser, an Andalusia child who was diagnosed with leukemia at only 19 months.

“I was the one who originated the birthday blessings for him,” she said. “The first year he had cancer, he couldn’t have a birthday party because of his immune system being so low.

“So we had everybody to send or make a birthday card and put $1 in it and send to him,” she said. “It was a birthday blessing but it also helped with his expenses.”

Red Oak and the AWANA program also participated in fundraising for Bailey Byrd’s surgery and they sent cards in support of Megan Kelley.

The AWANA program is a Wednesday night worship service for the church’s young people and is something Red Oak has had for many years.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. with a dinner for the children and lasts until 8 p.m.

AWANA stands for approved workman are not ashamed, which are words from the gospel, Bulger said.

Wearing yellow to Wednesday’s meeting allowed the children to gain AWANA Bucks, a point system that is used for the youth to collect prizes and gift cards.