After years of battling acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and many years fundraising for the issue, 17-year-old Westchesterite Kate Stevens was properly recognized for not only her bravery but for her philanthropy, as well.
Burlington teamed up with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in Rye to name Stevens their 2018 “Honored Hero,” by accepting an exclusive nationwide shopping spree. According to Stevens, she was delighted to accept the generous offer — though not for herself.
“I ultimately decided to donate my purchases at Burlington to a child receiving cancer treatment at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Valhalla,” Stevens says. “There are so many children in the same situation I was in, and they definitely need the support and generosity of [companies like] Burlington, more so than myself.”
Through her passion and perseverance, Stevens has already raised $50,000 for the cause. Poetically, the Rye High School junior is studying cancer therapy through a three-year program through the high school. She will be interning this summer at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City and aspires to study biomedical science in college.
“One thing cancer left with me is the mentality of how beautiful and precious our lives are and should be,” Stevens says. “It is my dream that every child has the same incredibly fortunate outcome that I had, so they, too, can live out their own life dreams.”
Stevens had the chance to live out one of her life goals last summer by biking 3,200 miles across the country. She says that the experience proved to her and others that one cannot let the past dictate their future. “Cancer may have damaged my body and rearranged my life, but it will never stop me from achieving my dreams.”
Editor’s note: Approximately 6,000 school-age kids are affected by blood cancers each year in the US. For more information, visit www.lls.org/connecticut-westchester-hudson-valley.