TeenPreneur, Black Candlemaker Partner for Children’s Cancer

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September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month 

 We Cancerve Movement, Inc., a Harford County-based nonprofit founded by a childhood cancer survivor, and Coco&Soy, a Laurel, Md., Black woman-owned candle company, are partnering on a campaign to raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer patients and their families in treatment at Sinai Hospital’s Department of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology.

The “Moments of Grace” candle collection is a new aromatherapy line that was carefully cultivated with both cancer patients and caregivers in mind said Coco&Soy Owner Tiffany Ogunwuyi.

She paired green tea and lemongrass to evoke peace and tranquility; eucalyptus and spearmint to promote a calming atmosphere, and orange peel and ginger spice to uplift the spirit. With names such as courage, resilience, and hope, each fragrance combination is made with a vegan coconut wax blend and essential oils, Ogunwuyi said.

Candles are available for sale in various sizes and prices – from 4-ounce travel tins at $10 each to 10-ounce glass jars beginning at $20 each. Between 10 and 25 percent of each purchase from this new line will be donated to the We Cancerve Pediatric Patients Assistance Fund at Sinai.

Photos of Grace Callwood courtesy: Coco&Soy

The fund was started in 2016 by then 10-year-old Grace Callwood, who founded We Cancerve at age seven when she was being treated for Stage IV cancer at Sinai. The fund has helped cover out-of-pocket costs for more than 500 hospitalized children at The Herman & Walter Samuelson Children’s Hospital, including many critically ill and receiving chemotherapy and other treatments.  The fund also covers certain prescriptions, hospital cafeteria vouchers, parking fees, and gift cards for groceries, gas and essentials.

“This candle collection is special because it represents a way to bring calm and relaxation to a stress experience for everyone in the family,” said Callwood, who turns 17 this week and is cancer free. “These candles make nice gifts for cancer patients of all ages and their caregivers, and they’re great gifts for anyone who wants to honor a loved one who faced this journey.”

Callwood also has a direct giving campaign through a GoFundMe page, which she hopes will net at least $3,500 this year for the fund at Sinai. She and her all-youth board of advisors have donated more than $20,000 to the hospital since starting the fund at age 10.

The 26-bed Samuelson Children’s Hospital at Sinai is a state-of-the-art family-centered Children’s Hospital, which provides a broad spectrum of pediatric diagnostic, inpatient, post-surgical, intensive care, hematology and oncology, and outpatient services available to children, adolescents, and some young adults with pediatric diseases, from birth to age 26, including the vitally important accommodation for two parents to sleep in their child’s room. A large part of the Children’s Hospital is the newly renovated and constructed Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Outpatient Center, which began seeing patients in July 2010.

Callwood is a junior in the Edgewood High School’s Global Studies International Baccalaureate Programme. Her nonprofit’s mission is to bring happiness to homeless, sick and foster children; all youth in sad situations through no fault of their own. She and her all-youth board of advisors currently run the decade-old nonprofit.

To date, they have reached more than 23,000 youth across Maryland, Delaware, Ohio and even to Kenya and Namibia. She’s donated more than $30,000 in cash grants and nearly $300,000 in-kind in products to nine hospitals including Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and Dayton’s Children’s Hospital in Ohio; 10 homeless shelters and transitional programs; three foster care group home and three orphanages including two in Africa.

Callwood is a 2016 Nickelodeon HALO Award Honoree, the 2019 World of Children Youth Honoree2019 Gloria T. Barron Prize for Young Heroes2019 CNN Young Wonder2020 Cartoon Network Black History Spotlight and 2020 Hormel Food 10 Under 20 Food Hero.

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