Irmo, SC – Cleo Floyd-Johnstone, a compassionate 9th-grade student at Dutch Fork High School, took the initiative to organize a cancer fundraiser for the non-profit organization “In the Middle.” In the Middle is dedicated to raising funds for breast cancer, providing support to individuals who fall in the middle-income bracket during cancer treatment.
Cleo Floyd-Johnstone hosted a New Year’s party, bringing together friends from school to contribute funds to the non-profit organization. Her motivation stems from a personal experience, as her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when Cleo was only 9 years old. Cleo had the opportunity to witness her mother’s chemotherapy treatments, tour radiology, and celebrate the end of the treatment by ringing the bell.
Expressing her motivation, Cleo said, “I want to give back to my community and help other people going through the same thing I did. Even though my mom had cancer, the experience impacted me too.”
In the Middle focuses on supporting individuals who are not indigent (such as those on Medicaid) but face significant financial challenges during cancer care. The organization allocates funds to provide yearly scholarships for students entering a four-year institution. The scholarships amount to $500 for children with a parent undergoing cancer treatment and $1,000 for those who have lost a parent to cancer.
April Sampson, the founder of In the Middle, is a local attorney and breast cancer survivor who recognized the financial struggles faced by individuals in the middle-income range during cancer treatment. Sampson, residing in Irmo, actively volunteers her legal expertise for the Mock Trial at Dutch Fork High School.
Funds collected by In the Middle are directed back into the local community, supporting individuals with various needs such as rent payments, gas cards, chemo baskets, preloaded debit cards, and assistance with medical bills. As a 501(c)(3) organization, donations to In the Middle are tax-deductible. To contribute, visit their website at www.inthemiddle-bc.org.
Photos by Tom Johnson