By Laura Marzullo
Cancer has impacted many lives. Grace Allen, a rising senior at Newsome High School, felt impassioned to give to those who were battling the horrendous disease.
Allen has been involved in Girl Scouts for 13 years. With her involvement comes awards at the Bronze, Silver and Gold level. Each award revolves around a project. Allen has devoted each project to spreading kindness to cancer patients.
Allen is currently participating in the Gold Award, which is earned individually as a senior/ambassador Girl Scout (grades nine through 12). To earn this award, you must complete the Girl Scouts curriculum, present your project idea to the Gold Award Committee at GSWCF (Girl Scouts of West Central Florida) council, follow the key components of the award and present the final report to the committee for approval.
Key components of the award include: sustainability (the effects being long lasting), advocacy (educating the community about the project cause), measurability (show success of the project) and leadership skills. Allen hopes to be a part of the 6 percent of eligible Girl Scouts to earn the Gold Award yearly in 2022.
With big goals to continue to help cancer patients, a troop leader suggested doing port pillows. After research, she fell in love with the cause. When a cancer patient has to have multiple chemo treatments, they might have a tube installed in their chest for their treatments.
“The port pillow will attach to a seatbelt and cause a cushion to relieve any irritation. It sounds like a simple thing, but to a patient who has a port installed, it’s a wonderful comfort,” stated Allen.
The Girl Scouts has given Allen the opportunity to change lives, learn new skills and experience new opportunities. This project has allowed her to help people and showcase their needs. She has been going to Florida Cancer Specialists every month (with the exception of COVID-19) for the past four years to deliver goody bags and will continue to go for the next year to deliver port pillows.
“Every time I go, I see people of all ages, races, genders fighting a battle with cancer. This project helps me to stop and be thankful for my health, the health of my friends and family, and I am very thankful for the doctors and nurses who work there,” exclaimed Allen.