On Sept. 30, students at Wheeler Avenue Elementary School joined together in the Courageous Camila Walk to welcome their classmate back to school after a yearlong battle with leukemia.
Girl Scout Troop 2073 planned the event in honor of Camila Raza, a fellow Girl Scout member and fifth-grader at Wheeler Avenue, who was diagnosed with leukemia last year. After spending all of the 2015-16 school year in the hospital and at home, Camila is in remission and has returned to Wheeler Avenue. Her teachers and classmates couldn’t be happier.
“The girls came up with the idea of the Courageous Camila Walk as a way to welcome Camila back to school and celebrate her remission,” said Elizabeth Stevens, one of Troop 2073’s leaders. “It made sense to hold it in September since it’s National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.”
The girls in the troop planned the walk as part of a project to earn their Bronze Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout Junior can achieve. The troop donated the orange shirts worn at the event, as well as the orange bracelets handed out to all of the participants. Many of the girls will also walk in the Light the Night Walk at Eisenhower Park on Oct. 15, which benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Initially, the Courageous Camila Walk was to include Camila’s fifth-grade classmates, however, once the rest of the school heard about this exciting event everyone wanted to participate in the welcome back celebration.
“We are all just so proud of her and so happy that she’s back,” said Dr. Gayle Steele, the school’s principal. “All of the grades wanted to walk and show their support.”
Of course, Camila’s family was also on hand for the event, including her sister, Sofia, who is in third grade at Wheeler Avenue. “It’s heartwarming to see the support of all of Camila’s friends and the entire school,” said Nancy Raza, Camila’s mother.
As for Camila, she’s just happy to be back at school with her friends—and she says she is even having fun in math class.