AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – It’s a full circle moment for teens who met as toddlers while battling illnesses at Children’s Hospital of Georgia. They held fundraisers and donated a big check to help other little ones on their journey.
They were just 2 and 3 years old when William Chandler and Howell Beman met at Children’s Hospital of Georgia.
“Well my dad actually found that I had a lump in my neck one day golfing,” Chandler recalled. “I was standing on the seat and he hit the brakes and grabbed me because I was falling and he felt something in my neck.”
That lump was T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma, a type of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. And during Chandler’s hospital visits he’d see Howell Beman, who was there with a blood disorder called ITP.
“The cells needed to produce scabs and to heal usually take a longer time to occur. That leads to excessive bleeding, bruising,” Beman said.
The boys remained friends through the years with the help of their parents. Fast forward to high school, both are freshmen at Academy of Richmond County. They, along with 14-year-old Marley Faulkner, are part of the International Baccalaureate program and chose to raise money for CHOG for their project.
“This year it’s a community project,” Chandler explained. “Sophomore year it’s a personal project. Junior and Senior year you have to do an essay. This year we chose to do a donation for the Children’s Hospital of Georgia. If they didn’t help me, I wouldn’t be here today.”
The students wrote letters to get money from the community and spent a night at Soul City Pizza.
“We got 10 percent of all their profits,” Chandler told us. “We bus tables, washed dishes, ran food out to the tables.”
Their hard work turned into a $6,000 check to CHOG. And the lady they once depended on to make it through their experience is still at CHOG 15 years later to receive that money and help other kids.
“Some of the money is going to Child Life so we can buy some of the materials that we use, the supplies we use for these kids in Child Life to help distract to help with coping. Then to help make a normal clinic visit more fun,” Kim Allen, Manager of Child Life said.
Chandler said he overcame his cancer battle at the age of 5 while Beman said he still goes to the doctor annually for his blood disorder.