AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) — September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month. A special organization in Amherst is using musical theatre to raise money for local kids with pediatric cancer.
It started as a young girl’s hobby and passion for singing.
“My dad used to build a stage every year and take it down, and then one year he finally built this one,” said Camryn Clune of Amherst.
It’s now used by Camryn and dozens of kids who take the stage to sing and raise money for local kids with cancer. Ten year old Andrew Masse of Darby is one of them. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor when he was just 7 years old.
“Backyard Broadway approached us a few years ago with a benefit that they wanted to do for Andrew. I think they raised about 4 thousand dollars at that time and it was superb I mean just to have that extra money to know that you can pay a couple bills and not have to worry for a little bit,” said Mark Masse, Andrew’s father.
Andrew beat cancer in 2015, but it came back this past spring. Camryn and the Backyard Broadway team took to the stage again over the weekend and raised $4,500.
“My wife and I always look back on receiving Tim Horton’s cards for 10 or 20 dollars while we were at the hospital and it was like you were given a bar of gold knowing that you didn’t have to buy a cup of coffee that day. Sounds trivial but it’s not,” said Masse.
“As kids we can sympathize, empathize with them because I can’t imagine how hard it is to go through something like that and I think it’s very important to help others,” said Clune.
Andrew’s father Mark says his tumor was removed, and he received a stem cell replacement that doctors say should clear him of cancer altogether. Meanwhile the Masse family joined in on the effort with Backyard Broadway to pay it forward and help other families in a similar position as them.
“Give out those things that we were given that just made life a little bit better even just for the moment,” said Masse.
For more info on Backyard Broadway go to: https://www.facebook.com/backyardbroadwaywny
More information on the Flush Cancer Project can be found at the following links: http://www.gofundme.com/flushcancer