It's Ryley Hatchard's last year at Westview Secondary, and she wants to make a splash.
Ryley has attended Westview since Grade 8 and, in her first month of Grade 12, is looking to accomplish a goal that will affect people not only inside the school, but far beyond Westview's walls.
She is raising the fundraising bar for cancer research, through the Terry Fox Run at her school.
Ryley's ambitious goal is to raise $10,000 over 20 days through pledges and donations. Her deadline arrives Sept. 27, in time for Westview's Terry Fox Run. The Westview run is held simultaneously with Fairview and Glenwood elementary schools' fund-and awarness-raising events.
This is above and beyond the Westview school community's goal of $3,000. If successful, these combined efforts will generate $13,000 in donations.
You can donate to Ryley's cause online by visiting her donation page at TERRY FOX FOUNDATION. If you donate online, you will be emailed a receipt, and for a donation of $20 or more, you will receive a tax receipt.
People can drop by Westview Secondary, at 20905 Wicklund Ave., during school hours and drop off a donation at the office.
While she nor anyone she knows has been affected by cancer, Ryley realizes how devastating the disease can be.
"I've heard really sad stories - I've seen what cancer can do to people through other things that I've experienced," she said. "I just really wanted to go into my Grade 12 year and make a difference."
She added, "If you look at the number of kids in our school, probably over half are going to be affected or have been affected by cancer, so what better way than to help out?"
When she was younger, Ryley wanted to be a doctor, but she's changed her future career focus since then - even so, her giving spirit remains.
"I do have a soft spot in my heart for helping people," she said.
Each year, schools around the Lower Mainland raise funds for cancer research through the Terry Fox Run.
Since she made the transition from elementary to secondary school, Ryley has noticed a somewhat disturbing trend.
"Our school didn't do so well, and I've noticed that a lot of high schools raise a lot less than what the elementary schools do," she said.
Ryley has a theory as to why high schools lag behind their elementary counterparts in fundraising.
"No one is really motivated to raise the money," she said. "No one has time; no one really feels the need to do it. When you hit high school, everyone's just like, heads in the clouds, don't have the motivation, all that stuff."
On her sponsorship page on the Terry Fox Foundation website, Ryley wrote, "My goal is big - but not impossible. It seems an easy task for those of you who have been affected by cancer. In this case, a few dollars can really make a difference. Money is not as valuable as time. You can always replace money, but you can't replace time. Time is something that cancer has a habit of robbing from our loved ones."
As of Sept. 12, four days into her fundraising drive, Ryley was one-tenth of the way towards achieving her goal. She eclipsed the $1,000 mark in donations and is happy to "get out of the hundreds."
As she continues to fundraise, Ryley has received a huge amount of support from her close group of friends.
"They've all supported me throughout, even though it's only been a couple days," she told The TIMES on Sept. 13. "I've gotten lots of donations from my friends."
Ryley believes that raising thousands for cancer research will change people's lives.
"I wanted to give back, not only to the community, but to society," she said.
Anyone who would like to take part in the Terry Fox Run at Westview can come out to the school on Sept. 27.
"We want a huge run, not single schools anymore, because everyone needs to come together for this," Ryley said.