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Middle School Students Donate Breast Cancer Mural and Money to Howard University Cancer Center

By Kiarra Keith

Howard Road Academy students, from left, Ebony Burgess, Alfred Brooks, Denica Santos, Devonte Odom, Rolonda Donelson, Jafani Kitt, Hermione Buckman and Alexandria Reed present their mural to Dr. Wayne Frederick, director of the Howard University Cancer Center.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Seventh and eighth graders from Howard Road Academy in southeast Washington on Tuesday, April 26, presented the Howard University Cancer Center with a self-painted mural to inspire patients and a donation to help the center’s ongoing fight against breast cancer.

The effort was conceived and executed by the students, with some small help from faculty. Student Alexandria Reed said she decided she wanted to do something after a close family friend, her “aunt,” was diagnosed with the disease.

So, Alexandria, who walks in the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, recruited classmates, who helped paint the inspirational mural with the aid of art instructor Reynaldo Quinn. The mural is a modern take of the classic breast cancer awareness pink ribbon. The mural’s pink ribbon spells out “Aware.”

The students also decided to raise money through donations and a dance.  On Tuesday, they handed over $450 to Dr. Wayne Frederick, director of the Cancer Center.

Frederick expressed appreciation and lauded the students for their unselfish attention to a disease that many people their age seldom consider.

“We obviously want to thank you for this,” Frederick said, “but this speaks volumes about the kind of people you are and your commitment to help others.” Frederick, one of the region’s top cancer surgeons, invited the students to come back and shadow him to see what it’s like to be a doctor and a surgeon.

The mural will be displayed in the Cancer Center lobby.

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