Local elementary students raise money for cancer research

Students at Monger Elementary in Elkhart are working to raise money for cancer research.

The project really hit home when they found out someone near and dear to them is a cancer survivor, who benefited from similar research.

The fundraiser involves everyone at the school, including the students.

In Jessica Moreno's fifth-grade class, students are taking part in the Pennies for Patients Program.

The money raised goes for research on blood cancers in children.

"I've talked to my class about understanding that there are kids out there, just like them, that have struggles, that they don't understand, they're going through, these cancers and having to do chemo treatments, instead of going to school," Moreno said. "And that really hit home for them."

Cyanna Mcknight is a fifth-grader at Monger.

"I think of it as, what if you were in the same situation, as these leukemia patients, what if you went through the same thing they are going through, you would want somebody to help you," Mcknight said.

In the course of the fundraiser, students learned their teacher is a cancer survivor.

She went through six months of chemo to successfully fight lymphoma several years ago.

"It was just a difficult trial for me, but I learned a lot from it, I learned to be charitable, I learned to give back to my community and I am trying to instill those values that I leaned from my experience, into my students," Moreno said.

Carlos Salas is a student in Moreno's class. He says when they found out that their teacher was a cancer survivor, the project took on a whole new direction and a sense of urgency.

"She is a survivor and then many people could be the same, just like miss Moreno, and survive cancer and have a better life, like miss Moreno has right now," Salas said.

Jessica Moreno's class is working to collect $300. The total goal for the entire school is around $2,000.

If you want to help -- click here.

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