MCALLEN, Texas (KVEO) — McAllen Rowe Junior Carmen Suarez lost her grandfather to cancer over seven years ago. Now, what was once a tragedy has been turned into motivation.
Suarez was nominated as a Student of the Year, a leadership and development organization dedicated to raising funds for cancer research. As a part of the program, Suarez was tasked with raising as much money as she could in just seven weeks. Motivated by her late grandfather, Suarez sought to go big with her fundraising efforts.
“I did a yoga event,” Suarez said. “We wanted to get the community together, especially with what everybody is going through with COVID.”
The event drew a large crowd to McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium, with vendors and other activities for attendees to experience. The event raised over $10,000 for cancer research.
“To know that I can do something to save people’s lives and to know that what I’m doing can obviously benefit people, it meant the world to me,” Suarez said. “I don’t want to say it’s the end. I want to say it’s the very beginning for me.”
Suarez finished as the runner-up for Student of the Year, raising over $39,000 in her seven-week time frame. She hopes to continue her work in philanthropy moving forward, including a potential-annual event to support cancer research efforts.