Feature Stories Campus Events All Stories

First-Year Students Help Kids with Cancer


In 2008, Alex Baca started Alexander’s Auction, a biannual event that raises money for Special Love’s camps and outings for children with cancer who are being treated at hospitals in the mid-Atlantic region.

Alex, a member of W&L’s first-year class, from McLean, Va., knows firsthand what it means for these children to enjoy the kinds of activities that normal kids — i.e., those not suffering from cancer — take for granted. He survived childhood leukemia, missing both kindergarten and first grade while he battled the disease.

Not only did he create the auction, but Alex also volunteers each summer as a counselor at Camp Fantastic, in Front Royal, Va., joining medical personnel and others who give their time so that the children can have a chance to feel normal and enjoy life. “The children enjoy friendship and fun while receiving medical treatment, and the National Institutes of Health are involved in management of the medical aspect of the camp. I know how hard these kids have it and how much they need support. Camp Fantastic is a supportive world in which the children do not feel different or isolated from their peers.”

And this past Saturday, when Alexander’s Auction was held in McLean, Alex got some extra support, too, when his three W&L residence-hall suitemates — Garrett Koller, John Paul Beall and Andrew Seredinski — all volunteered to help stage the event.