My name is Teagan Stedman and 8 years ago I wanted to help my friend who was battling cancer but, since I was only 8 years old at the time, there was not a lot I was qualified to do to help. I realized that if I focused on repurposing my passion to help, it would not only feel more authentic but it could be more impactful. Both my friend who was battling cancer and I were into music, and I knew other kids who wanted to help, so I came up with a plan to put on a concert – a battle of the kid bands to battle kids’ cancer. In this case, we actually wanted to “shred kids’ cancer”. Lots of rehearsals and organizing happened which was a bit overwhelming for an 8 year old but a few months later this concert, the Shredfest, was born. It was a great way for my friend who was battling cancer to be able to see that we were all here for him. He even was well enough to come on stage and perform a song.
By using a shared passion of music kids were able to create a strong feeling of solidarity which lifted my friend’s spirits and also helped generate some much needed funds that went toward pediatric cancer research. Thankfully my friend recovered, and it has been eight years since that first Shredfest. Shred Kids’ Cancer has since become an official nonprofit and has raised over $350,000 and granted funds to 9 clinical trials. We expanded from our west coast roots to the east coast with many fun, music-themed kid-organized events.
Shred Kids' Cancer is a charity that lets kids try and do something for these other kids who are suffering and we try to do it through the power of music. Its a way to make kids who have cancer know that we are here for them and show them we care and give them strength.
For the past eight years, our ongoing events are fundraisers with music infused in each event.
Shredfest: kids battle cancer with a battle of the kid bands
Rock The Run 5K/10K: held in Fall.
Be Bold, Be Bald: Third Friday of every October.
Dodge for Cancer
ASICS LA Marathon
All the fundraising has been unbelievable - but while most of our Shredhead friends have recovered, some were still battling and were struggling with harsh treatments. Many times kids have to use adult treatments that can be harsh on their bodies - so harsh that they can actually be fatal. Devastated and frustrated with the fatality of my friend and Shredhead Ashley Jensen Pray, I wanted to personally help those battling cancer in a more direct way. Two years ago I came up with a unique way to get treatment to reach cancer tumors that are impossible or very difficult to reach in a way that does not destroy healthy cells. For the past year I have been testing this and successfully been able to prove this idea at The University of Connecticut's Institute of Regenerative Engineering Lab under the mentorship of Dr. Sangamesh Kumbar and Dr. Roshan James with the lab's grant from The National Science Foundation. We are excited to share our results and publish them in a medical journal fall of 2016.
We also have other means of spreading awareness and making change via letter writing campaigns, SKC F.I.T selfie challenge and bone marrow drives to get our voices heard and match donors to literally save the lives of those who are in need.
We are proud to be given the opportunity to spread Shred Kids Cancer nationwide and our goal is to have clubs and chapters around the nation - so look for Shred Kids' Cancer events in your area or be a leader and start one!
We also have original Shred Kids' Cancer items created like music on itunes, a children's book and Survival Bracelets we call Shredstraps, with proceeds going to Shred Kids' Cancer.
Shred Kids Cancer is an official 501c3 public charity and our Federal ID # is 27-3541000
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