‘Battle of Chester’ raises money for cancer research, so everyone wins

Posted at 5:54 AM, May 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-08 08:45:03-04

CHESTER, Va. -- Some of you might remember a previous Building Better Minds report on Emily Woodall, a L.C. Bird High School student who started a Youtube channel sharing tips about fashion and makeup.

Now she's sharing something else.  At the age of two, Emily was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She beat it.

Emily Woodall shares her story

Emily wanted to help St. Jude by building awareness about childhood cancer.

That's when she came up with a twist on the "Battle of Chester," a term used in the annual football game between town rivals L.C Bird and Thomas Dale high schools.

"We wanted to do something between the two rival high schools," Emily said, "but we wanted to not be rivals for once; to be as a group together."

With help from friends and a representative from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Emily started a fundraising competition between Bird and Dale.

She got students excited by playing games, telling them the winner would get bragging rights, and most importantly, a party.

Bird ended up winning, and in all, the schools raised over $8,500.

"She's just amazing," Lindsey Baumler, with St. Jude's, said. "I mean, thinking about myself when I was an 18-year old, she's years ahead of where I was. When you have a patient who's their age that resonates so much more and they can connect on a very real level with that."

It wasn't an easy story to share.

"It's easier knowing that they want to help the place that helped me," Emily said.

But she knows building awareness about childhood cancer, is Building Better Minds.