Think back on your teenage years, carefree, challenging... probably confusing? Presenting Rebecca (Becca) Beaty, an extraordinary 17 year old student who understands the full scope of the devastation caused by cancer. Becca's grandmother (Nana) was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and given three years to live. Nana lived a productive 17 years instead because of the clinical trials and lifesaving treatments she received through the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) which allowed her to spend precious time getting to know Becca and her other grandchildren.
Becca has the honor of being Colorado's first ever female "Student of the Year" candidate for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This is part of the "Man & Woman of the Year" LLS campaign where candidates raise money to help save lives for research, treatments and much needed support for patients and families who are battling blood cancers. Becca says: "Every dollar I raise is a vote for me and a vote to cure cancer. My goal is to raise at least $15,000 by the May 21, 2016 gala and grand finale. For me, it's about raising money for important research that not only helps LLS funding, but also supports other cancer research that helps repurpose drugs to fight many other types of cancer and diseases."
Becca started on her mission to help raise money for LLS after she was in a lot of physical pain from years of playing soccer, and she ended up having serious knee surgery. In spite of that, she signed up with Team in Training (TNT), a branch of LLS and ran her first half-marathon in San Francisco in October 2015. She raised over $3,000 to help create a world without blood cancers. Becca was so exhilarated and inspired after finishing the race, she then made a pledge to live a life of service by treating the sick and making people well. Becca loves children and plans on pursuing a career in Pediatric Oncology Nursing. As a Junior at Arapahoe High School, she has already started looking at potential colleges with top-rated nursing programs.
I love doing interviews with outstanding people we can all admire, but I might love doing this one the most. Becca Beaty is a bundle of love, spirituality, and promise. We all can join her message of hope for a world free of cancer.
If you want to help Becca, an exceptional young lady, through finance, goods, or even prayer, go to her website: http://www.mwoy.org/pages/rm/denver16/bbeaty
How did you get involved with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS)? My grandma (Nana) died from multiple myeloma. She was given a life expectancy of three years. Thanks to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and the treatment she received in a clinical trial, she went into remission and lived 17 years and got to spend time with all of her seven grandchildren. I had the opportunity because of that to build a relationship with my grandmother, and she was very special to me. Through my parents, I got involved in running with the “Team in Training” (TNT) a branch of LLS, and I ran my first half marathon in my Nana’s honor in San Francisco in October 2015. I was able to raise over $3,000, and it was such a motivator for me. Then I fell in love with the idea of going into Oncology, since I’ve known for a long time I wanted to be a Pediatric Nurse, now I want to go into Pediatric Oncology. My motivator is also getting involved in the spiritual side of medicine.
You recently visited several potential colleges to attend after you graduate from high school. Which one is your favorite so far? Baylor looks good… still looking around.
What subjects in school have you enjoyed the most? Physiology is my favorite class. I also like Biology.
What do you hope to pursue in college? Pediatric Nursing.
We hear so much about bullying, how do we stop hate and bullying in our schools? We need to figure out a way to love each other. When kids are little and still developing, they can be mean. They need help growing out of that phase as they mature, but some people don’t grow out of it, they develop anger and self-hate, and they don’t like themselves. It takes learning to love yourself first, and then you can love people. It needs to be stopped in the schools, and the parents should be notified. Even in college, as an example, Texas Tech makes students with an anger problem go directly to talk to a guidance counselor. It’s been hard at Arapahoe High School since the awful shooting. I’ve seen the effects on my friends who were there at the time, they are scared and can start crying whenever a fire alarm goes off.
What do you enjoy doing with your family? I just love being with them…love them so much! I love going out to dinner with them, and our family loves to go sailing, it’s so much fun! We’ve gone to the British Virgin Islands and the Bahamas, and it helps us all bond together; and we found out how much we need each other.
What is something your parents have taught you that you will never forget? Don’t quit… I’m a very determined person, so if I start something, I’m not going to quit. Even with my injuries, I haven’t stopped running or building connections. Even though I didn’t train a lot for the race, I still had knee pain, and my Dad was running the TNT race with me. He was concerned and asked if I needed to stop and turn around, but I insisted I finish for Nana. It’s not always about winning, just about not quitting and getting it done. I was the winner in my own heart!
Fondest childhood memory? When I would dress up as a princess… you could find me with a tiny trail of boas, beads, and high heel shoes. My mom also made homemade playdough - in flavors like chocolate mint.
Typical Sunday for you? Go to Cherry Hills Community Church. I love my church!
Give us some of your favorites:
Sports: I’m doing cross-country, and I just starting track, and - pole vaulting, I’m going to do that. Even with tendonitis, I’m going to stay with it. I love to watch football and soccer, and I love to swim.
Book: The Bible. It’s a big part of my spirituality and my life. When I visited Baylor, I was impressed with their spiritual life, it is so active there. The Lord is a big part of my life.
TV Shows: Grey’s Anatomy… and I loved House and Friends.
Vacation Spot: The Bahamas - as long as we are on the boat.
What can make you laugh? I’m giggly about many things… like my little brother, he makes me laugh, he’s a goofball, I just love him!
What can make you cry? Thinking about my Nana. I remember a week before she passed away, we went into her room, and she pulled out a cross necklace with diamonds in it, and she put it around my neck, and it was a very moving precious memory.
What do you see yourself doing 10 years from now? Hopefully married to my man, Dr. McDreamy, who I will meet at Baylor! I will be a nurse, he will be a doc, and maybe we’ll have a child. We can start with one! : )
If you had one wish that could come true, what would it be? That there is a cure for cancer. I am so passionate about it… It effects so many people in addition to the patient… the families, the caregivers.
Your proudest achievement so far? My half-marathon for LLS. It was the best weekend of my life in SF. Spent a lot of time with my mama who is my best friend. Since my freshman year, I just wanted to spend more time with my mom. She is my role model, and taught me to never quit.
What do you want people to know about you – and what you value? I value family, I love people and babies with all my heart. I value spirituality and my faith and being able to talk with someone about God. It makes me more fulfilled, and I love to go to Young Life.
How do we get other students as committed and involved as you are? They need something to be passionate about. They need to find something that has personally affected them; I know a lot of people have been affected by cancer. Find something that moves, motivates and empowers you to get involved. For me, there are many things to get involved with, besides cross-country and track, I do Key Club, Future Business Leaders of America, Young Life… and I was involved with “Make-A-Wish” when I went to Valor before Arapahoe High School.
What do you hope to accomplish in your lifetime? I know I will always love people, I love them wholly, and want to show them God through me. I’m so passionate about that and my future, and that’s why I want to get into Pediatrics… I love children and find my joy in them. The reason why I’m attracted to Oncology is it’s all about relationships especially when people’s babies aren’t okay. I feel like being an anchor for the families, and let them know someone understands what they are going through.