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Gold Day Out brings awareness to childhood cancer

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Gold Day Out brings awareness to childhood cancer

It’s almost time to get golden Hobbs.

An effort to bring awareness to childhood cancer has resulted in Friday being called Gold Out Day, where participating Hobbs residents are encouraged wear a Gold Out Day shirt.

The fundraising effort that started with a bake sale by the Houston Middle School National Junior Honor Society, and has grown to include a proclamation from the City of Hobbs, a week-long T-shirt sale, a day of remembrance while wearing the gold t-shirts and a Fitness-a-Thon.

“This is an event that allows the people in this community to get behind something that is bigger than themselves,” said Hobbs resident and event coordinator Becca Titus.

This is the first year of the event and it is dedicated to the family of Derek Reber, a Houston eighth-grade student who passed away in late August from a form of childhood cancer. When Derek was a baby he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It was removed and through radiation and chemotherapy, he was able to survive. But this past year, the radiation Derek received from the brain tumor treatments caused the cancer to return.

Derek was a member of the school’s National Junior Honor Society and his mother, Regina, also taught at the school. Around the time of Derek’s death NJHS members were looking for a fundraiser and found one in Derek’s story.

But now the fundraiser has grown into three parts. The NJHS bake sale took place Saturday, raising more than $3,000. There is the “Derek Strong” t-shirt fundraiser which will be sold all week at Body Rejuvenation, 2116 N. Turner, next to Planet Fitness. The shirts are $8.50 each and sizes are youth small through X-Large, with XX-Large selling for $10.50. These shirts are asked to be worn this Friday as part of the tribute. Then there is the Fitness-a-Thon, set for Friday from 6-8 p.m. at Fitness Fury, 2827 N. Dal Paso, Ste. 113.

The proceeds from the fund-raisers will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, where the Reber’s stayed during Derek’s second round of treatments.

“This is the first year we are doing this and want to show some love to the Reber family, while also setting the tone for future years where we can get behind other kids and their families who are fighting childhood cancer,” Titus said.

During the Sept. 17 Hobbs City Commission meeting, Mayor Sam Cobb proclaimed Sept. 24-28 Childhood Cancer Awareness Week. The proclamation calls for, “citizens to support cancer patients, survivors, their families and caregivers; remember the lives of those we have lost; and encourage those who are working to improve survival rates and treatments of these devastating diseases.”

Burkett Shaw
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