One boy's mission

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Blake Li started fundraising for Nationwide Children's Hospital when he was only 6 years old.

When a young family member was diagnosed with brain cancer, he decided to help by selling handmade crafts at school, raising more than $600. He decided he would continue to support Nationwide Children's Hospital cancer research group in memory of his cousin.

In 2005, Blake visited the Children's Hospital foundation and was so honored by what he saw that he set his sights even higher for 2006, hoping to raise $5,000. He made a plan and talked his parents into donating their coveted Ohio State-Michigan football tickets so he could sell raffle tickets for a chance to attend the "game of the century" and support cancer research. He set a reasonable ticket price and managed to sell more than 1,800 tickets. With true Buckeye pride, he went on to sell scarlet and gray scarves, Buckeye necklaces and key chains to raise even more money.

His fundraising efforts culminated at his birthday party when he asked his young friends to donate to Children's Hospital instead of buying birthday presents for him. That act was an altruistic example for his peers to follow. His remarkable selflessness and fundraising ingenuity contributed more than $7,600 to Children's Hospital cancer research group in 2006 and he didn't stop there. Blake's goal is to show how kids can make a difference in the world and he truly leads by example.