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Pre-Teen Cancer Survivor Inspires Book Sale Fundraiser | Community Spirit

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Pre-Teen Cancer Survivor Inspires Book Sale Fundraiser
Pre-Teen Cancer Survivor Inspires Book Sale Fundraiser

ALPHARETTA, GA -- It all started during a typical November weekend in Alpharetta's Dunmoor subdivision.

Samara Chasin, 12, and her mother Lisa watched their neighborhood's youth tennis team compete against the Horseshoe Bend team.

Nearby, 11-year-old Roswell resident Madie Dreesman cheered during her younger sister's match. A bandana covered Madie's hairless head.

In the car on the way home, Samara's eyes filled with tears. She asked her mother about the little girl with no hair.

Lisa had spoken with Madie and her mother during the match. She explained that Madie had cancer and was undergoing treatment, most likely chemotherapy. Samara began to ask question after question about how people get cancer, how it is treated and whether or not there is a cure.

Lisa suggested that they raise money for a camp that serves sick children, but Samara responded that finding a cure for cancer was even more important.

And with that, a great grassroots fundraising effort was born.

Samara and Lisa began to organize a book drive -- sending emails, posting fliers, placing ads in newspapers and collecting books from neighbors, friends, Girl Scout troops and anyone else who was willing to donate. Lisa's friend Cindy Tromer and her daughter Shelby joined the cause as part of Shelby's bat mitzvah project; Madie's mother Deb Dreesman also got involved and began a book drive of her own.

The book sale took place in the Dunmoor Subdivision Clubhouse on Saturday, Dec. 11. Thousands of books on a variety of topics were availabe for purchase, with all prices between $1 and $2. The proceeds went to CURE Childhood Cancer and were matched dollar for dollar by the CURE Challenge Grant, funded by prominent Atlanta couples Chris and Tom Glavine, Ellen and John Yates, and Lauren and Michael Gearon.

Several adults and children volunteered during the book sale. They wore "Celebrate Life" T-shirts that were designed and sold at the event by Melissa Murray, a friend of the Chasins and founder of Double M Design.

When Madie arrived at the clubhouse with her family, she was presented with a T-shirt of her own, as well as a big thank you for being the inspiration behind the event.

Madie was diagnosed with cancer in September 2009. She finished her treatment last summer.

Altogether, the book sale raised over $2,000 for CURE Childhood Cancer.

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