Mr. Easter’s fight against childhood cancer

Michael Pettus, J1 Reporter

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Keith Easter is a Sociology, and Social Studies teacher that’s been teaching at Freedom High School for 14 years. In 2016, Mr. Easter’s youngest daughter, Allison, was diagnosed with stage four Neuroblastoma cancer at the age of 3. Allison, now 6, is currently in remission, but Allison’s condition has turned Mr. Easter into an advocate in the fight against childhood cancer. When I asked about his fight against childhood cancer, Mr. Easter had this to say, “I plan on always fighting childhood cancer and advocating for all affected children and their families.” 

Mr. Easter has been fighting childhood cancer for several years now, and one of the primary things that he helped to lobby for was the STAR Act. STAR is an acronym for Survivorship Treatment Access Research. It’s one of the most comprehensive childhood cancer bills to ever be passed, and has been a major boost in the fight against childhood cancer. While the bill will supply the National Childhood Cancer Registry 30 million dollars in funds each year up until 2023 (according to the Children’s Cause Cancer Advocacy.), Mr. Easter didn’t feel like that was enough. When I asked Mr. Easter how important the fight against childhood cancer was, he stated the following, “Since childhood cancer kills more children than any other disease, it should be one of our nations priorities.”  (A fact reaffirmed by the Coalition Against Childhood Cancer organization.) 

From the 25th to the 26th of March 2019, Mr. Easter, as well as several others, went to Capitol Hill to lobby for additional funds for the STAR Act. Thankfully, they were successful in convincing Congress to grant additional funds to the STAR Act, pushing back against childhood cancer even further. 

Mr. Easter continues to push back against childhood cancer. Even in the classroom, Mr. Easter often educates his students on the severity of childhood cancer. On top of that, he also sells bracelets & shirts that he uses to donate money to Ellie’s Hats, a charity that purchases hats for children battling childhood cancer.