Jesuit students fundraise for and participate in the annual Children’s Cancer Association (CCA) Walk for Joy October 1. The CCA annually hosts this four-hour event, which crosses the Tilikum Crossing in support of the youth with cancer.

The CCA provides entertainment and kindness to children with cancer and their families nationwide and locally. This foundation has been deeply-rooted in the Jesuit and Portland community for many years.

Junior Georgia Gray, a leader from Jesuit for the CCA Walk, has been involved since the spring of 2016.

“Their goal isn’t to cure cancer, it’s just to bring joy to people who have it,” Gray said. “So they have programs that match up people with cancer and mentors or people who write music. It is just about making the hospital a better experience for the families.”

The CCA not only brings joy to people who have cancer, but also tightens the local communities through fundraising and events. The four main schools that join together by participating in the Walk for Joy are Central Catholic, La Salle, St. Mary’s Academy, and Jesuit High School. De La Salle also joined the Walk for Joy for the first time.

Junior Lilly Webb, a cancer survivor and a strong advocate for the CCA, expressed the solidarity brought to the high school communities.

“Jesuit and Central Catholic are arch rivals, but for something like this everyone is more than happy to come together and help the cause,” Webb said.

Jesuit’s participation in the walk has increased by over 100 students this year.

Madison Burke, who works at Children’s Cancer Association, shared Jesuit’s donation amount last year and participation statistics.

“Jesuit students last year brought in $33,294 during Walk for Joy,” Burke said. With more students participating and acquiring sponsorships it looking like Jesuit will pass last year’s mark. This year we have over 500 students committed to walking on October 1! Around 270 of those from Jesuit.”

The Children’s Cancer Association has impacted and improved the lives of so many, not only in the Jesuit community but nationally. The Walk for Joy truly demonstrates how the Portland community becomes united to help a cause that is so close to the hearts of many.