By Meghan Finger, Aubrey Drohner, & Mackenzie Morey
For many families, a child cancer diagnosis comes without any warning. It’s hard to prepare for such a life-changing event. Frequently, families are left worried about how they will sustain a healthy income while paving a road for recovery for their loved ones. Sometimes, all it takes is a pinky promise to brighten a smile.
The Pinky Swear Foundation was founded in 2003. Mitch Chepokas, who passed away from cancer when he was nine years old, made a “Pinky Swear Promise” with his father to continue to help children with cancer and their families by offering financial assistance and special family services.
Across the country, 170 college campuses continue their PACK’S with the Pinky Swear Foundation. The main component for this organization is to spread awareness to the communities and fundraise for the cause while working on leadership development skills for future members of the society. The University of Wisconsin – Green Bay Pinky Swear PACK Program continues to flash its ray of sunshine for children who need to see a brighter day ahead. Frankie Behr, Student Leadership Manager at Pinky Swear Foundation, speaks on last year’s showing with the Pinky Swear PACK. Behr says, “Last year, in 2020, we were able to give out over 1-million dollars in funds to support the families we help. In 2021, we hope to do the same, if not more!”
As students across the country continue to work to support these families in need, they not only are making a difference for a child and their family’s life, but they are obtaining fundamental leadership skills for future job careers. Many of the nation members realize that this is an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than themselves while still receiving the necessary skills of leadership and knowledge. Shauna Froelich, a relatively new Faculty Advisor for The University of Wisconsin – Green Bay’s Pinky Swear PACK Program, shares her views on the organization stating, “It’s a neat way to give back and to serve others.”
Although no one expects their child to be diagnosed with cancer, it is proven that there is outstanding support for families. Pinky Swear and other organizations continue to shine a light on those fighting a hard battle with cancer.