MACOMB, Ill. - Western Illinois women's soccer assistant soccer coach Mariana Sanchez had an idea in January for a fundraiser that would benefit and help celebrate Shaymus Guinn's 11th birthday on February 23.
Shaymus, son of Leatherneck women's soccer head coach Tony Guinn, has been battling a rare form of bone cancer called Ewings Sarcoma for the past three years. This year, he was diagnosed with ALL Leukemia which is caused by radiation treatments. Following his 11th birthday, Shaymus will begin a risky, experimental procedure in order to treat his ALL.
To make this birthday his best yet and to raise money for medical costs, Sanchez came up with a fundraiser that would result in the creation of a train. To participate, individuals paid a dollar minimum to decorate a train cart. Members of the women's soccer team and Sanchez assembled the carts creating his birthday gift.
The response was overwhelming as Sanchez received more than 2,700 train carts in a three and a half week time span. The money raised, as requested by Shaymus himself, will go toward buying children's books for friends he has made during his time at Milwaukee Children's Hospital.
For more information, contact Mariana Sanchez at firstname.lastname@example.org. A video on the project was created and can be viewed below.