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'Hope for Teen Warriors' event celebrates girls touched by cancer

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Posted at 9:19 PM, Jun 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-07 21:19:09-04

HAMBURG, N.Y. (WKBW) — Hope Rises and Kaely's Kindness Foundation partnered for their second annual 'Hope for Teen Warriors' event Tuesday. The event brought together the more than 75 members of Kaely's Kindness Foundation, who are all either undergoing cancer treatment or have survived cancer.

The night was filled with girl talk, mocktails, massage and hair stations, a therapy dog, and much more.

"When you come to events like this, you're like okay cool. I can party like a normal teenage girl again. I can hang out with my friends. I can girl talk. I can go get a spa day," Heather Black, a cancer survivor, said.

Black said spending time with girls who have all been touched by cancer in their teens helps cope with the pain the disease causes.

"They understand that isolating feeling. They understand the pain that comes with treatment. They understand the long term effects too. Once you have cancer, even after you're done with cancer, it still follows you for the rest of your life. These girls get it. It's such a liberating feeling knowing that I'm not alone, and that these girls always have my back," Black said.

Black was diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin's Lymphoma at 19-years-old. She moved home from college to undergo six months of chemotherapy. She's now in remission.

She said she couldn't have gone through the treatments without Kaely's Kindness.

"Because as an adult, as a young female, especially going through something like that, is so isolating. Nobody could understand what that was like, except for all of these girls," Black said.

Numerous community members came together to throw a party for the girls.

"We're so grateful to be able to gather the girls together, and celebrate them. These girls are going through so much with their battles with cancer, but they're also teenagers on top of it. They have so much going on in their lives," Kate Glaser, founder of Hope Rises, said.

Hope Rise's "Prank for a Purpose" unicorn pranks helped fund the event. Alchemy Wine & Beer hosted.

"I can't imagine what it would be like. I haven't been put in that situation with my family or friends, so I am very fortunate. I'm so happy that they're able to have a little club," Anne McIntosh, co-owner of Alchemy Wine & Beer in Hamburg, said.

C.H.A.T. of Western New York surprised the group with a $10,000 donation to continue to have events like 'Hope for Teen Warriors.'