CHICOPEE – When her older cousin fell ill with non-Hodgkin lymphoma years ago, Vidhi Patel watched as he struggled to keep up with schoolwork while being treated for cancer.
“He had to miss school for months,” she said. “It was hard to know what was happening in your subjects and you miss out on your friends and after-school activities.”
Her cousin, who was 12 at the time, is now healthy and a college student. But seeing him trying to balance schoolwork while he was ill left a lasting impression on her.
Now the 17-year-old Comprehensive High School senior is developing a charity, called Cancer Patient Succeed, to help children like her cousin keep up with their education while fighting illness.
Her first move is to collect donations of school supplies to create baskets filled with the materials students need while trying to study outside school. She is working with schoolmates, friends and family to collect …