Fundraiser a success


Holidays are meant to be spent at home with family, not in a hospital bed. But some teens battling cancer do not have a choice.

Whitney Setterdahl, a sophomore at the University of Illinois and a St. Joseph Ogden grad, wanted to helped brighten some of those patient’s holidays. She organized a gift and money donation called Stockings for Strength to give presents to 72 teens at Barnes-Jewish Hospital’s Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis.

Setterdahl chose the hospital because of its special significance to her: it’s the hospital where she receives cancer treatments.

“Honestly it was probably the absolute best Christmas present for me just because it’s something I’m very passionate about and something that I got to see from the other side,” she said. “And to know how that would’ve meant to me when I was there.”

Setterdahl was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer July 24, 2015. She went to her doctor’s office to receive a shot when the nurse felt lumps on her glands. It was diagnosed as cancerous, and she had her thyroid completely moved Aug. 13.

Setterdahl moved into Pennsylvania Avenue Residence Halls one week later.

“Ultimately the best decision I’ve ever made was to go through with it because I obviously felt healthy and got back on my feet relatively quickly,” she said. “And the thought of being at home all semester was pretty horrible, so I’m glad I gave it a shot.”

Setterdahl has since undergone three radioactive iodine treatments, which attack thyroid tissue leftover after surgery. To support Setterdahl, two of her Kappa Delta sorority sisters sold T-shirts last summer, and the company gave Setterdahl 15 percent of the profits to donate to a charity of her choice.

She had $200 to spend, but she was weary of donating the money to research. Instead, she thought of her own experience in the hospital. She remembered how she wished the hospital felt homier and realized she could help bring that feeling to teens.

Her goal was to raise $500 to buy presents for patients and donate them around the holidays. Instead, she raised $3,500.

“My goal was $500, so it definitely blew all my expectations out of the water,” she said.

Prairieview-Ogden District 197 held a toy drive to help, collecting 10 to 12 boxes in addition to the money Setterdahl raised. She even had to scrap her plans to donate stockings because she had so many gifts to donate and some that were too large to fit.

Setterdahl traded stockings for tote bags stuffed with items such as hand sanitizer, lotion, makeup, Rubik’s Cubes, board games, including Catchphrase, remote control cars, pajama pants and fuzzy socks. She could not deliver the presents herself because of sanitary concerns, but she received updates as staff handed them out.

“I think realizing how many people it truly impacted is still very surreal for me, and it’s something I definitely want to continue and keep going in the future and giving back,” she said. “Especially Barnes, because it’s such an amazing place and they made it so easy to give and everything.”

Setterdahl plans to organize Stockings for Strength again next year, though she might shy away from focusing on cash donations and encourage people to donate more presents if possible.

And next holiday season, Setterdahl hopes to be almost cancer-free. On Dec. 30, she received her first negative scan since she was diagnosed. In order to be considered in remission, she must have three consecutive clear scans.

Then she will no longer be a patient, but a survivor.

Categories (2):News, People


The Leader embraces discussion of both community and world issues. We welcome you to contribute your ideas, opinions and comments, but we ask that you avoid personal attacks, vulgarity and hate speech. we reserve the right to remove any comment at its discretion, and we will block repeat offenders' accounts. To post comments, you must first be a registered user, and your username will appear with any comment you post. Happy posting.

Login or register to post comments

jimms wrote on February 17, 2017 at 12:02 am
Profile Picture

Before doing whatever else, you should choose what the motivation behind your occasion is. Is this really a raising support occasion? Then again does it have pay to write my assignment different objectives? Perhaps your association may would like to raise cash at the occasion, but the primary capacity of the occasion is to pick up attention, or connect with another system.

chandu wrote on February 21, 2017 at 2:02 am

I wasn't envisioning that you ought to go on such an unbelievable total in one day. At any rate, I respected this post and keep the huge work going ! handheld ultrasound

buyfansmedia wrote on March 12, 2017 at 10:03 am

I was surfing net and fortunately came across this site and found very interesting stuff here. Its really fun to read. I enjoyed a lot. Thanks for sharing this wonderful information. recovery

buyfansmedia wrote on March 13, 2017 at 3:03 pm

Thanks for posting this info. I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative. I can't wait to read lots of your posts. turn responsive website into app

buyfansmedia wrote on March 14, 2017 at 12:03 pm

This is very educational content and written well for a change. It's nice to see that some people still understand how to write a quality post! thomas minis checklist

uali20 wrote on March 14, 2017 at 10:03 pm

pleasant bLog! its fascinating. much obliged to you for sharing. Ostatus Gamers

uali20 wrote on March 14, 2017 at 10:03 pm

It’s good to check this kind of website. I think I would so much from you. Yu Gi Oh Duel Links Hack

buyfansmedia wrote on March 15, 2017 at 4:03 am

Nice blog and absolutely outstanding. You can do something much better but i still say this perfect.Keep trying for the best. branding annapolis

buyfansmedia wrote on March 15, 2017 at 5:03 am

This was really an interesting topic and I kinda agree with what you have mentioned here! website

buyfansmedia wrote on March 15, 2017 at 9:03 am

Most of the time I don’t make comments on websites, but I'd like to say that this article really forced me to do so. Really nice post! Zinc Countertops

jamsmalik wrote on March 16, 2017 at 3:03 am

I can see that you are an expert at your field! I am launching a website soon, and your information will be very useful for me.. Thanks for all your help and wishing you all the success in your business. mobile tech

buyfansmedia wrote on March 16, 2017 at 8:03 am

I really appreciate the kind of topics you post here. Thanks for sharing us a great information that is actually helpful. Good day! portland luxury home for sale wilsonville

buyfansmedia wrote on March 18, 2017 at 4:03 am

It is imperative that we read blog post very carefully. I am already done it and find that this post is really amazing. Roof Cleaning

uali20 wrote on March 19, 2017 at 1:03 am

Good to become visiting your weblog again, it has been months for me. Nicely this article that i've been waited for so long. I will need this post to total my assignment in the college, and it has exact same topic together with your write-up. Thanks, good share. Get More Information

buyfansmedia wrote on March 19, 2017 at 3:03 am

Thanks for a wonderful share. Your article has proved your hard work and experience you have got in this field. Brilliant .i love it reading. Fruit Ninja

Event Calendar

Today's Events  |  FAQ
Log in to add an event