Project Cherish raises money, awareness for childhood cancer


Avani Munji

Project Cherish is establishing a chapter at Coppell High School, aiming to educate more people about childhood cancer. The Sidekick staff writer Deepali Kanchanavally explains what the new club is about and what people can do to help those with childhood cancer.

Deepali Kanchanavally, Staff Writer

Even though we might not notice it, tens of thousands of children in the United States are diagnosed with cancer each year. Although we cannot physically help them fight, we can give them hope and remind them that they are not alone, which is exactly what Project Cherish aims to do.

Project Cherish is a nonprofit organization with a goal to raise funds and awareness for childhood cancer. Established in the Metroplex in 2020, the organization is now part of several school districts, including Frisco ISD, Keller ISD, Irving ISD and now Coppell ISD. CHS sophomore and Project Cherish @ Coppell president Varshini Byreddy co-founded the organization. Last year, she created a Coppell chapter at Coppell High School Ninth Grade Campus and has now expanded the club to CHS. 

Byreddy was inspired to start a Coppell chapter of Project Cherish after being diagnosed with cancer herself. Reflecting on her time in the hospital, she notes that although cancer affects people of all ages, not enough medical funding and research is spent on curing childhood cancer. She wanted to help solve the problem and make the childrens’ experiences a little more hopeful. 

“When I was diagnosed with cancer, I saw so many kids much younger than me who had their childhoods taken away by cancer,” Byreddy said. “I just really wanted to see them with smiles on their faces, and that would only be possible if I do my part. The solution was Project Cherish.” 

Byreddy notes that awareness is the first step to solving any problem, which is her aim with Project Cherish. 

CHS sophomore and Project Cherish @ Coppell external and internal affairs officer Ashia Agarwal notes that many people are uninformed of cancer’s consequences and emotional toll. She joined the club wanting to give the children opportunities that they might not otherwise get. 

“If you can make somebody’s day better, who is battling to live life while we have so many privileges, why not?” Agarwal said. “It’s always been something I have been passionate about, and I have been trying to help out cancer organizations for a really long time. So, I’m really excited that we are starting a chapter [at CHS] to continue the advocacy and activism.”

Last year, the club created and distributed care packages, held blood drives and made cards for children with cancer. The care packages contained essentials like socks, rubber bands, and hats along with fun items such as fidget toys and Play-Doh. They were distributed to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Plano and Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. Inspiration for the care packages came from Varshini’s experiences with them.

“When I was in the hospital doing my treatment, I would get care packages, and they just made me feel really happy,” Byreddy said. “It felt nice to know that some people were thinking about us and that someone was working to help us.” 

Byreddy started organizing service events by herself before recruiting fellow students to assist her in her efforts. She started doing care packages and arranging blood drives in the Coppell chapter as a way of doing her part in paying it forward and making someone else’s day better.

Newly established CHS club Project Cherish is a great way to help people fight cancer with the right attitude. It is reassuring to know that there are people working to make them more comfortable in their difficult journey.

Follow Deepali Kanchanavally (@deepali0914) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.