Winston-Salem high schooler, cancer survivor makes ‘Bracelets of Hope’ to support childhood cancer patients

What's Right with Our Schools

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — Carley Vawter is well aware of the struggles childhood cancer patients and their families.

“It never ends and it’s their whole life they’re going to have to continue to go to doctor’s appointments and fight through different struggles that childhood cancer and treatments will bring to them,” she says.

A cancer survivor herself, she felt the call to help others. So she started making and selling beaded bracelets. “Since 2017, I made the first donation with $75 and then this year I put it on Instagram,” says Carley. “I started Instagram and Facebook.”

That’s when her sales took off. In the last two years, aided by the extra time at home the pandemic afforded her she was able to make hundreds of bracelets to sell. She was able to raise $625 to be used for families on the cancer hall at Brenner Children’s Hospital. Her Instagram and Facebook pages are full of stories of children and their fight against cancer.

“When you’re making the bracelet, all you’re thinking about is like what you’re doing it for and the children, and you really do like fall in love with the children even though you’ve never met them.”

It’s a trait her assistant principal noticed in her early on.

“Carley just has a beautiful spirit. In meeting her, she’s very quiet kind, kind of to herself, but she’s always had this focus. Like you knew that Carley was about business. You knew what she was there for and she wasn’t gonna let go of her goals,” Kim Ashby, the Assistant Principal at John F. Kennedy High School in Winston-Salem, said.

She also says Carley is a great example of what their school stands for.

“So in the curriculum embedded in what all our teachers do, there is this sense of citizenship and being aware of who other people are and how they’re developing,” says Ashby. “So along with them learning the science, math, and core and elective courses, the sense that others need care and others need compassion and help are built in there.”

With her parents cheering her on every step of the way, Carley says she will continue to make bracelets and raise funds because she wants to bring the families one thing. “I hope to bring them hope. Hope is the main thing and showing them that there is always hope, no matter what their child’s going through.” 

If you would like to help Cary’s endeavor to raise money for the child cancer patients at Brenner Children’s Hospital, you can find out more on her Facebook page “Carley’s Bracelets of Hope.”

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