Saxons: call to action

Fay Shuai and Alison Buckler are on crusades to raise money for global health crises


From left to right: Caroline Cassidy, Alison Buckler, Rachel Rhee-Feitel, Olivia Carnot, Katherine Moe, Laila White, and Reese Villella pose with 6-year-old Sydney Belsher, a recovered cancer patient whose story inspired the girls to take action in conjunction with the Belsher family (Photo by Belsher).

The Saxon Scope

For Fay Shuai, it’s the news of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan where her aunt and uncle work as doctors in the hospital. For Alison Buckler, it’s the memory of hearing the news her great-grandfather had passed away from leukemia.

Different causes, different stories, and different methods, but both junior girls have recently embarked on campaigns to raise money for two global issues: the coronavirus outbreaks in Wuhan (Shuai) and the fight against leukemia and lymphoma (Buckler).

“All my relatives live there, [including] my aunt,” Shuai said. The recent coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, has infected over 1,400 people and taken the lives of 41 Wuhan citizens; carrying the potential to infect Shuai’s aunt who works as a doctor in the Wuhan Hospital. “She’s exposed to the disease every day from treating thousands of infected patients and has an extremely high chance of getting infected[…]”

7,000 miles span the distance between Shuai and her extended family, but the close connection she’s forged with them over the years has stood the test of time.

“We were visiting them over the summer and I remember them opening the door and literally my cousins, aunt, uncles and grandparents were staring at us all in awe, like ‘wow they’ve all grown so much.’ They all tackled me and my brother and gave us a massive group hug even though we hadn’t seen each other in almost a decade,” Shuai said.

With the growing amount of coronavirus infections each day, Shuai’s aunt and uncle face an increasingly high risk of being exposed as their supply of medical N-95 masks dwindles.

“Their colleagues are getting very concerned because China has completely run out of medical masks. The hospital will likely run out of masks within the next week or so,” Shuai said. “Lots of doctors and nurses will contract the disease and likely die.”

The perilous situation prompted Shuai to initiate a GoFundMe page and begin connecting with suppliers in order to raise the money for more masks to be delivered. Her faith in the Saxon community to help alleviate the epidemic shines through as Shuai implores everyone to donate where they can.

“I’m asking for everyone’s help and support during this very scary epidemic and I’m confident that we’ll be able to be of big help to the hospitals in Wuhan,” Shuai said.

Buckler was approached in early September–having been nominated to take part in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) Student of the Year (SOY) campaign–and chose to join and help formulate a team of dedicated high schoolers from Langley and Madeira to raise an ultimate goal of $100,000 for the LLS, dubbed “Team Snails Racing for a Cure”.

“I decided to join the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in honor of my great-grandfather who passed away due to Leukemia,” Buckler said in her mission statement. “I truly believe in the work and passion this society puts into the fight against blood cancer.”

The SOY Campaign runs from mid-January to early March, and brings together a team of students tasked with raising as many funds as they can over a two month period to be donated to the LLS’s fight against cancer. The top earning students receive the title “Students of the Year.” Buckler’s campaign additionally honors 6-year-old cancer survivor Sydney Belsher as a key source of inspiration for their fundraising plans.

“I am raising funds in honor of those who are currently battling or are in remission from a blood cancer. Each dollar is a vote and the team that raises the most money at the end of the seven weeks is named Students of the Year. As a team, our mission is to not only raise the most money but also to bring attention to blood cancers like leukemia, which is the most common form of cancer in children and teens,” Buckler’s fundraising site states.

After meeting Sydney, Buckler became even more motivated to fundraise upon discovering from Belsher’s parents the true constraints cancer treatment operates in- financial, emotional, and physical.

I think it definitely […] allowed me to understand the limited treatment options as of now and how our campaign will make it easier for people in the future to recover,” Buckler said.

Saxon Country has a profound reputation of comradery among students; we support those in need, give helping hands to those in trouble, and actively work to make the world a better place. Today, Shuai and Buckler are counting on their fellow Saxons to rise to the occasion and help them in their efforts to fundraise.

“My aunt is amazing. She taught me how to eat little steamed buns, taught me how to braid, and loved me like a mother. I’m counting on everyone’s help during this time,” said Shuai.

The links to donate to the SOY Campaign and Shuai’s GoFundMe can be found below: