Big Country

Clyde student makes flowers to sell at lunch for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Clyde, TX - Erica Walker is a student at Clyde High School. While most kids are thinking about the big football game, she's raising awareness for breast cancer.

Walker is spending her lunch periods this month selling duct-tape flowers to raise money for breast cancer research.

"My Aunt had brain cancer and breast cancer and she died around my birthday," said Walker. "So she's been my biggest inspiration."

It takes Walker about 2 minutes and 15 seconds to make a flower- she's timed it. When she first started, she spent about six hours per night crafting them.

"To sit down and make one of these flowers and say 'well, this is a dollar towards breast cancer,' it hasn't mattered how much I've spent on it, it just matters how well I've done it to contribute," she said.

She spent $200 of her own dollars, and $400 altogether with help from her family, to make about 700 flowers. She has already sold close to a hundred and will continue the project until the end of the month.

Last week, before she started, she hit a roadblock. A bag of 100 of her flowers was stolen.

"We found 37 of them, so 63 of them were taken," said Walker. "In that bag alone was over $60 worth of duct tape. So it was very heart breaking."

But she kept on going, and she's inspiring others.

"Most kids don't have that level of compassion or empathy," said Clyde High School Principal Terry Phillips. "It's a tremendous example that one person with an idea to raise money for a good cause and she's looking at her world and trying to make it better. She's showing that it doesn't take a whole lot to do that."

"She's showing us that one person can make a difference, and I think we need more of that," said Richard Rhodes, a vocational special education teacher at the school.

Walker said thinking of the struggle her Aunt went through makes it all worth it.

"It does hurt when we lose a family member," she said. "But as soon as they're gone, their memory is not."

Erica Walker's ultimate goal is to donate $1000 to the Susan G. Komen Foundation by the end of the month.

She will also be selling her flowers at Cooper High and Abilene High football games in the coming weeks.

She said she also plans to wear pink every day until November 1 in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

According to The American Cancer Society, more than 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the year 2013. It's the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer. Women age 40 and older need to get a mammogram every year to increase chances of early detection.

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