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  • Jeremy Cares

Helping People to Know They’re Not Alone in Their Fight

Katherine Finley

Sibling Renewal

$1000 Winner

Katherine is no stranger to us. She is a 4th time winner and currently studying marketing at the University of Cincinnati. She has maintained the Dean’s list all while volunteering for the Leukemia & Lymphoma society, Dragonfly Foundation in Cincinnati which plans events for families effected by cancer and served as a chair of her sorority.

Katherine saw inspiration in her sister Jane when she was diagnosed with cancer. “ In the fall of 2015, my little sister was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Jane was only 13-years-old, yet somehow, she presented herself as the most mature patient in the Cleveland Clinic. It amazed me every day I visited her. To see her laugh and smile with her doctors made me realize how there can still be happiness behind all of this pain. Even on her worst days, you could still find a way to make her let out a tiny giggle of some sort.”

“Little did I know that Jane would have a relapse the summer going into my senior year. My thoughts were blurred, and my judgement was clouded about college, whether I even wanted to go or not. I felt selfish for leaving but knew this is something I had been waiting for. I began my college search and applications but had no idea what I wanted to do. A lot of my life I had thought I wanted to pursue something in music, but knew it wasn’t going to end up being something purposeful to me. So, my career search continued, and I applied as an undecided major to most of the colleges I was looking into.

Jump forward a few months, and the Leukemia-Lymphoma Society has their annual “Light the Night” walk for patients, survivors, supporters, and loved ones we have lost. The walk sparked an idea in me, and that was to host Bay Village’s very own “Light the Night” walk. Not everyone would be able to make the drive out to LLS’s location for their walk, so doing one at our very own high school where I was a senior and Jane was a freshman just made sense. I organized this walk with Student Council and other involved groups at Bay High School. We created “#JaneStrong” shirts and sold them and raised money for LLS, all while having people gather and support our loved ones in the community for such an amazing cause. The walk now happens every year at Bay High School, right before LLS’s walk.

Knowing I helped start something so important and meaningful gave me the idea to pursue a business major. With this marketing major I am pursuing, I see myself working for non-profits, raising awareness for amazing organizations, and advertising. This is a career I never thought too much about, but now it’s all I see for myself. Although I can’t see myself working in the medical field as a doctor or surgeon, the business aspect of non-profits and hospitals is important too. I want to raise awareness and I want to be able to connect with families on personal levels, and continue to start more events, like the “Light the Night” walk, so people know they’re not alone in their fight and have a strong support system.”

Katherine, you continue to impress us and we cant wait to see whats next for you.

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