High School hero raises awareness for pediatric cancer

Published 1:11 pm Wednesday, August 23, 2023

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‘Kidz in Lids’ grows quickly, raises funds

LANDRUM—On Monday, August 21, Chapman High School student Paige Melick met with Landrum Middle School students to raise awareness for Kidz in Lids, a program she founded as a fifth-grader at Campobello-Gramling School in 2017 to raise money for pediatric cancer patients. 

Paige shared the story of losing her friend, Bella, to cancer when she was in fifth grade. 

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“I was devastated, and it’s really hard for me to talk about,” Paige says. “But that’s when I knew that I needed to do something.”

In response, Melick and her principal created the Kidz in Lids program. Students can pay a dollar to wear a hat to school, and faculty can wear jeans for $5. All proceeds from the program go to Children’s Cancer Partners of the Carolinas, which provides resources and assistance to families with children suffering from cancer. 

Melick hopes the program will go nationwide. 

“It makes me feel good about myself,” she said. “Not only for me but for others. And it makes other people really happy.”

Students at Landrum Middle School have also implemented the program. LMS English teacher Joey Millwood, who lost his daughter to cancer, says that Kidz in Lids is an important way to raise awareness and funds for those affected by the disease.

“The project’s amazing,” says Millwood. “Just being here in the school when it goes on, I always send out a mass email to everybody and just encourage people to wear the hats, because as a family affected by cancer, I know how important Children’s Cancer Partners of the Carolinas is, how important Kidz in Lids is, to raise money for that.” 

In just five years, the Kidz in Lids program has raised more than $50,000 and spread to 125 schools across the Carolinas.