Brigham Young University students are doing what they can to help make the dream of a terminally ill girl come true.
Rachel Stratton, a 17-year-old girl from Orem, was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, a terminal type of brain stem cancer, in August. As part of BYU's Care Week, which runs through Saturday, the BYU chapter of Golden Key is sponsoring a fundraiser, along with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, to help with Stratton's wish — to go on a trip to Hawaii with her entire family.
"Why did I choose Hawaii?" Stratton asked in a video on YouTube about her experience and wish. "I've always wanted to go there, and we never have. ... Plus it's like my whole family. Well, my siblings have been in other areas for awhile ... so we haven't had a family vacation together for a really long time and I just miss having a family vacation."
Care Week is an event held once a semester, which started a few years ago, where clubs and organizations all over BYU's campus can raise awareness and money for various charities and causes.
During the week there have been booths for clubs participating in the Wilkinson Student Center on campus every day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m; Golden Key will have a booth throughout the week.
A Hawaiian-themed dance will be held to raise money for Stratton's wish Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. in the Wilkinson Center Ballroom, with tickets available at the Wilkinson Info Booth.
A Facebook page has been set up for the fundraiser inviting BYU students, and all those wishing to contribute and participate, to various activities and fundraising events for Stratton.
There are numerous other fundraisers taking place during the week including benefit concerts, comedy shows and a ping-pong tournament, according to an article on the Daily Digital Universe, BYU's student news site.
“Clubs wanted to do a lot for charities, and they were always doing events and fundraising,” Sarah Jacobsen, BYUSA executive director, said in the article. “We created this one week so it would all happen at once.”
Mandy Morgan is an enterprise intern for the Deseret News, reporting on values in the media. She is a true-blue Aggie, studying Journalism and Political Science at Utah State University, and hails from Highland, Utah.