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Coos Bay 1st Grader Trick-Or-Treating To Help Cancer Patient
This Halloween, 7-year old Nathan Mullanix of Coos Bay is going the extra mile to help a local teenager in her battle with cancer. Nathan will collect as much candy as possible when he goes trick-or-treating so he can win a contest put on by a North Bend dentist and receive a $50 charitable contribution to help 16-year-old Natalie Hill of Coos Bay.
Nathan is a first grader at Oregon Connections Academy, the state’s leading tuition-free virtual public charter school. His parents say the online learning environment gives Nathan the ability to help others in the community. “He is able to work on fundraising and not miss any school work thanks to the flexibility of Oregon Connections Academy,” said Claire Mullanix, Nathan’s mother and learning coach.
“I wanted to help Natalie because I like her and she’s my friend,” said Nathan. “It makes me happy when she does things on her bucket list. I hope she gets to do everything.” Natalie Hill was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a cancerous bone tumor, in the summer of 2010. She has undergone a partial leg amputation and had tumors removed from her lungs over the past two years. She posted a bucket list online and has received an outpouring of support from people all over the world ever since.
So far Natalie has been able to check off several things on her bucket list thanks to donations from people like Nathan. The completed items included being an extra on the TV show Grimm which is filmed in Portland, shooting hoops with the Portland Trailblazers, and have a boy sneak through her bedroom window.
When Nathan learned about Natalie’s situation a year ago he entered the Halloween candy buyback program sponsored by Apple Dental and won, giving Natalie the $50 charitable contribution. The dentist sends the candy to soldiers serving in the armed forces overseas.
Then Nathan participated in one of Oregon Connections Academy’s many instructional tools called “Lemonade Stand” and set up one of his own at Video and More in North Bend as a way to raise money for Natalie. That fund raiser generated $1,000 and Nathan plans to do a similar event at the store in December.
Last spring, Nathan also put together a Relay for Life Team in Coos Bay. “I wanted to raise money for Relay because they help people who have cancer,” said Nathan. “I want them to find a cure, they do important things.” His mom Claire added, “Nathan wanted to raise money to help work toward finding a cure for cancer so that no other young person would have to create a bucket list because of cancer.” Nathan’s Relay Team collected $1,700 this year.
For more information, call 800–382–6010 or visit www.ConnectionsAcademy.com.