Swanton senior raises $2K for Victory Center, Baskets of Care

Swanton teen raises money for breast cancer

SWANTON (WTOL) - The end to the fight against breast cancer just became a bit closer thanks to a local high school senior with a personal story.

We first introduced you to Xavier Williams in late October. As a player on Swanton High School's football team, he organizeda community-wide pink out in hopes of raising funds to fight breast cancer.

Spoiler alert: He exceeded his goal by a landslide.

But for Xavier, this fight doesn't end now. It's only getting started.

"It's just a touchy thing to me and I don't want anyone to fight alone, like how I had to deal with it with my mom,” he said.

His mother, Maronda, was diagnosed with breast cancer when Xavier was a five-year-old. That’s part of the reason he led the campaign to raise money to battle the disease.

"Since then we calculated all the money, we got all the money together, and found out we almost had about $2,000,” he said. “And I was like, 'wow.' I wasn't expecting that. I was expecting maybe $1,200."

With his fundraising goal nearly doubled, he had some decisions to make. Where would the money go? Organizations like the American Cancer Society and Susan G. Komen Foundation were easy choices, but Xavier wanted this money to stay right here, where it was raised.

“I was trying to stay local so people know where the money's going to so it can help The Victory Center and Baskets of Care."

So it was decided; $700 to each of those two groups right here in northwest Ohio.

The Victory Center is in west Toledo and holds a place near and dear to Xavier’s heart. Maronda, a 13-year breast cancer survivor, used the Victory Center’s services during her battle.

“I think that's one of the coolest parts of this story is that Maronda had been here, in fact at our old location many many, years ago,” said Dianne Barndt, executive director of the Victory Center.

Baskets of Care provides bags full of information and resources as men and women begin their fight against breast cancer. Gail Cooper founded the organization in 2011 and has known Xavier since he was in diapers.

“So I appreciate teenagers, and in their busy life, to take that opportunity to do something so powerful, so time-consuming and that he chose this,” Cooper said.

“He's just such a kind young man and the fact that he did all of this on his own is incredible, and I wish there were more Xaviers in the community,” Barndt said.

The remaining funds will remain in the bank as overhead to start up next year’s fundraising efforts, Xavier said.

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