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Albany girl raises money for Cancer Coalition

People, Places & Things

Victoria Natoli, 11, of Albany, whose mom and two grandmothers battled breast cancer, decided to take action. Going to neighbors’ doors, she and a friend collected $31.30 for cancer research.

Victoria Natoli, 11, of Albany, whose mom and two grandmothers battled breast cancer, decided to take action. Going to neighbors’ doors, she and a friend collected $31.30 for cancer research.

ALBANY -- Inspired by some of the hardships her family has gone through, an Albany girl recently went on a door-to-door campaign with a friend to do her part to help battle cancer.

Victoria Natoli, 11, asked neighbors close to her grandparents for donations to help fight breast cancer, raising $31.30 for the Cancer Coalition of South Georgia.

Having a mother and three other relatives who have suffered from either breast or cervical cancer, Victoria is no stranger to the struggles cancer patients have to go through.

"I am very proud and very humbled by her," Dawn Tippins, Victoria's mother, said in a phone interview Friday with The Albany Herald. "My mother and I had breast cancer, her other grandmother had breast cancer and (another relative) had cervical cancer. Her motivation was watching me going through my battle and hearing the struggle others are going through.

"I think she has learned something (from the collection process). It has given her a desire to help people in other ways. ... I'm very proud of what she did and why she did it."

Tippins' breast cancer was caught early, which prevented a bad situation from getting much worse.

"I'm a big believer that early detection is key," she said.

While proud she took the initiative to collect the money, Tippins said she is encouraging her daughter -- for safety reasons -- to think outside the box and do something else besides going door-to-door.

Along with the donation, Victoria also provided a letter explaining why she choose to make the contribution.

"There are three big reasons I wanted to raise money for breast cancer. The first reason is my grandma, Mimi and my momma," she wrote in the letter. "... The other reason is because I don't want any other young or older kids to have to go through what I had to go through so I have raised money with my friend McKenzie to let ladies get scanned for breast cancer."

Her effort made a big impression.

"All the staff members here were touched and inspired by Victoria's kind heart," Cancer Coalition CEO Diane Fletcher said in a news release. "Any donation, no matter how large or small, makes a difference. Thirty-one dollars won't end breast cancer here, but it certainly can help an uninsured woman receive a mammogram which may save her life."

Officials with the Cancer Coalition say that 100 percent of every donation to the coalition is used for their education, research or screening programs in the communities within its 32-county umbrella.

"We are grateful that these two young women decided to help support the Cancer Coalition in honor of family members who have been touched by cancer. It is rare to see such selfless actions in such young individuals," added Emily Jorgenson, the Cancer Coalition's communications coordinator.