Cancer survivor inspires other kids battling cancer

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 6:09 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) -“No kid should be finding out that they have cancer,” said Raynie Clark.

At just 6 years old, it’s something no child should ever experience. For Raynie Clark, she spent two years fighting for her life.

“My mom took me to the doctor because my energy was low,” said Clark. “She thought I had strep throat. That’s where I was diagnosed with A.L.L, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.”

A.L.L accounts for about 30% of pediatric cancer and is the most common form of leukemia found in children. At 11-years-old, Raynie serves as a national youth ambassador for Hyundai Hope on Wheels, she wants to inspire other kids with cancer.

“I hope my story can be a rainbow of hope to other kids fighting cancer,” said Raynie. “I don’t want to see someone going through that like how I did.”

Hyundai Hope on Wheels, a non-profit, is dedicated to helping kids fight cancer and beyond through research and funding.

“I don’t think there’s anything more devastating to hear that your child has cancer,” said John Guastaferro. “And it really affects the whole family.”

Just a few decades ago, only about 58% of kids were surviving cancer for 5 years or more. Now, it’s about 85% of kids.

“Children are very resilient and their bodies can tolerate more aggressive chemotherapy than an adult can,” said Renuka Gera.

Renuka Gera is a Pediatric Hematologist Oncologist at Michigan State University Health Care. She says while the survival rate has increased, there’s still work to be done.

Raynie says in order to fight against cancer, it starts with research and inspiration.

“I just want them to know that it takes both sunshine and rain to make a rainbow,” said Raynie.

Hyundai Hope on Wheels hopes to continue to provide funding aimed at improving care for pediatric cancer.

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