Phoebe  Melikidse,    age 19





My name is Phoebe. I'm just a regular 19 year old high school student. I love going to concerts. I love to hang out with my friends. I'm on Twitter way too much according to my parents. I want to be a professional photographer someday. I'm healthy. But what if I wasn’t healthy? What would happen to me or my family? My cousin recently passed away from cancer, and he was way too young. He was 26 when he died from melanoma. I saw what that did to my whole family. It was and still is really difficult to cope with the loss. Tyler Robinson is another boy who had cancer. He was just a little bit older than me when he passed away. His favorite band, Imagine Dragons, is also my favorite band. We could have been friends. It could have been me that died and not him. It could be any one of us, but cancer doesn't care who it affects. 

I have seen the effects cancer puts on a family all too clearly. Now, I feel called to help. Recently when I went to see Imagine Dragons in concert, I was fortunate to have met Tyler's brother, Jesse Robinson. I had the pleasure of learning more about a foundation that was created in Tyler's memory to help families with children from birth to 18 years old who have cancer. They help cover expenses so the family can focus on helping their child get better. I want to do my part to help the families out there who are dealing with the same struggle that my family and Tyler's family have been through.

I love photography. Most people have a form of art they express themselves through like music or drawing, and for me it's taking pictures. Therefore, I want to use my passion in a positive way to help people. Since my family and many others have been affected by cancer, I have learned that it is one of the most unimaginable adversities one could go through. It's even harder when it happens to a child. It doesn't only affect the child, but everyone in that persons' life. I see how worried my parents get when my brothers or I get something regular like the flu. I could only imagine if it was something worse. They would need help in so many ways. Together, we can help make a difference for these families dealing with a child who has cancer. I have raised over $18,000 for TRF so far and will continue to raise more!