Students in Hall County inspired by classmate to help children battling cancer

Lanier Christian Academy 11th grader Liam Howell’s friends will tell you that he is the bravest person you will meet.

Howell was born with congenital fibrosarcoma, which is a type of pediatric cancer. He has undergone chemotherapy and 26 surgeries. Now cancer-free, he and his classmates are giving back.

“Growing up I have become used to it. It is just part of my story,” Howell told Channel 2′s Berndt Petersen.

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“I think we all had a vision for what we wanted it to look like, but seeing it in person it was beautiful. It was a God work,” 10th grader Shae Tumlin said.

The school’s Student Leadership class organized a fundraiser to benefit families affected by childhood cancer. They built it around a Lanier Christian Academy High School basketball game. They handled the budget, the marketing and rounded up sponsors.

“It has been overwhelming to see the kids come through and take ownership,” teacher Christen Babb said.

The money is going to Thumbs Up Mission of Gainesville, a local nonprofit that sends the families on weekend getaways to places like Great Wolf Lodge in LaGrange, all expenses paid.


“Our goal for the weekends is that it’s a vacation from cancer,” Thumbs Up Founder Miles Coker said.

The charity sent Liam’s family on one of those trips. His mom is also a teacher at Lanier Christian and knows the good those retreats can do.

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“The impact this is going to have on the lives of people battling cancer is immeasurable this side of heaven,” mom Lauren King said.

“It’s cool to be able to help raise money and send families on a retreat where they cannot deal with the stresses of cancer for a weekend,” Liam said.

For more information on this organization, click here.