CANYON - The West Texas A&M Bateman team is teaming up with the Tatum Tough Foundation to raise awareness and funding for pediatric cancer on the High Plains.
Bateman, is a national competition comprised of groups of college-aged public relations students, that create effective, compassionate campaigns.
This year their client is With Purpose, a non-profit that inspires young people to raise awareness for the lack of funding and research for pediatric cancer.
During their research, members of the WT team said they learned that only 4% of the National Cancer Institute's budget goes to pediatric cancer.
"That number is unacceptable," team member Skyler Bonneau said.
The team also learned childhood cancer patients only make up 1% of the total number of cancer patients in the U.S.
"Pharmaceutical companies don't make any profit making those medicines," team member Jackie Lopez explained. "And so that is one of the main reasons why there's not as many treatment options as there is for adults."
"People need to know and they need to be shocked and inspired," Krissi Burgin said. "With this campaign we can really spread the awareness and inspire people to get involved that they can make a difference and maybe even cure cancer for good."
The team will be making presentations at Randall High School and Canyon Junior High School, where Tatum Schulte's older sister, Shaylin, is a student. She will be joining that presentation. It is not the only time the Schulte family will partner with the Bateman team.
The team is required to partner with a local organization with a similar mission. The Tatum Tough Foundation was a clear choice.
"Tatum's story was a big part of the last few years for everybody," team member Shea Johnson explained. "I followed their story on Facebook...It was really inspiring to see the way Tatum touched so many people throughout the community and I think it's a great way to honor her legacy."
"I am so excited about it, I am so excited," Shawna Schulte, Tatum's mom, exclaimed. "I just think what a coincidence that this happens to be the topic that they were giving at this time. It's not just a coincidence actually."
The Bateman team is allowed to receive a $300 donation from their University and only $1,000 from the community. Any additional donations that are raised will be split between With Purpose and Tatum Tough. Shawna Schulte said they are also looking for volunteers to get involved with Tatum Tough.
The Bateman team will also be using social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat to reach kids on the High Plains. They ask everyone to use the #morethan4 in their posts.
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