By Libby Hopkins

Helena Noel of Riverview is not your average 11-year-old. Sure, she likes playing golf and hanging out with her friends and family, but the thing that makes Noel different from other girls her age is that she’s a fighter. No, she not a boxer, she’s a fighter for cancer.  When her aunt passed away from cancer and her grandmother was diagnosed with Leukemia, she wanted to do something to make a difference because she saw the struggles first-hand of what families go through when their loved ones are affected by cancer. She started her own foundation called Kids Fight 4 Cancer. 

“My plan is to start a Website and inspire other girls my age to join me to work toward achieving goals through different fundraisers to raise money for cancer awareness, treatment and assisting people with cancer who struggle financially,” Noel said.

Noel started doing research about the different cancer charities available in the Tampa Bay area and she decided to raise money for Faces of Courage.

“I chose Faces of Courage for several reasons; one being that they are located in Tampa and I live in Tampa. I’m also able to see where I’m helping to make a difference, which is inspiring,” said Noel.

Faces of Courage is a non-profit organization located in the Tampa Bay area that offers free camps and events for women and children with cancer and blood illnesses. The foundation provides life enriching experiences to kids, women and families touched by cancer and/or blood disorders. The foundation’s director, Peggie Sherry was touched and inspired by Noel’s determination to help raise funds for her foundation.

“Young adults like Helena make you believe that the next generation is far ahead of us on looking at the needs of the community, rallying their friends to action and doing the work to make important changes happen,” Sherry said. “Helena’s family has been touched by cancer and she wants to personally help other cancer patients.”

Noel and her friends held a community car wash last month and raised $113 for Faces of Courage. She is currently working on hosting a lemonade stand fundraiser and working on getting a Website started for her charity Kids Fight 4 Cancer.

“My dream is to have the foundation grow and I would like to see lots of people get involved,” Noel said. “I hope that my foundation spreads so that I have the opportunity to raise a lot of money that will help other cancer organizations fight the disease or find a cure for the disease.”

Individuals interested in helping Noel raise money for cancer or who would like to help get a Website up and running, e-mail her at To learn more about Faces of Courage, visit

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Libby Hopkins has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of USF with a degree in journalism. She has been a freelance writer for The Osprey Observer Newspaper since 2008. She also the Executive Director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. She is a dog mom to her rescue dog, Marshall. She loves being a part of the Brandon Community and she loves sharing positive news about our community.