HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — According to the American Cancer Society, childhood cancer rates have increased in the past few decades.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and a Harlingen mother is working hard to educate the community.

“These children have such a time ahead of them, and it could be cut short,” President of the TeamWalkerPete Foundation Judi Peters said.

Raising awareness for childhood cancer is a strong passion for Judi Peters.

In 2009, her son Nick was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 10 years old.

However, throughout his fight, Nick always found joy in his journey.

“Even in his darkest days, he was trying to make sure others around him were comfortable and trying to make them laugh and so his generosity and spirit are how we want to honor him,” Peters said.

At the age of 17, during his senior year at Harlingen High School, Nick passed away. His mother wanted to do something impactful in his honor.

“Once our son passed away, we just knew we had to give back and that’s how we formed the TeamWalkerPete Foundation.”

The TeamWalkerPete Foundation is committed to making sure child cancer patients are fought for.

This includes scholarships, raising funding for research, and supplies for doctor visits for children in the Rio Grande Valley.

“What we say is, you never know when a clinic visit is going to turn into a hospital stay,” Peters said.

Peters encourages other families who are going through the same situation to never give up.

“Trust in the doctors but advocate for your child and live in the moment. Live in the moment and keep going,” Peters said.

The foundation will host its biggest fundraiser of the year, the Night of Black and Gold. The event is designed to benefit childhood cancer patients and cancer research.

The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Sept. 17, at the Wild August Nursery and Flower Farm, located at 1602 Garrett Road, in Harlingen.

For more information on the TeamWalkerPete Foundation click here.