SARASOTA – Andrew Lakey is starting to realize that people are keeping tabs.
ESPN college basketball analyst and Naismith Hall of Famer Dick Vitale took to his Twitter account on Monday evening to promote and acknowledge the 11-year-old’s latest fundraising endeavor. Andrew has never met Vitale, a Lakewood Ranch resident, but the two share a common goal of eliminating the scourge of cancer.
Each attempts to take full advantage of their resources to raise funds for further research to find a cure. For Andrew, it is being able to call upon volunteers and the Potter Park YMCA, which served as the site for his Tuesday car wash to benefit the Brain Tumor Foundation for Children Inc.
“I’m doing (the car wash) because I’m trying to give back and I used to have a brain tumor,” Andrew said on Tuesday morning.
In the past, Andrew has raised money to benefit Hole in the Wall Gang camps for children with cancer and serious blood diseases and conducted a neighborhood bake sale. His goal for Tuesday’s fundraiser was to raise somewhere in the $1,000-$1,500 range.
Realizing that every little fundraiser brings us closer to a cure, Andrew has no plans of slowing down. He also has no plans to let his brain tumor keep him from seeing the day the cure becomes a reality.
"He just finished treatment for the brain tumor," his mother Melanie Lakey said. "That was pretty much the round of chemo that he had to do. Now, we have to keep monitoring it.
"I’m very proud of him. He had a passion for fundraising even before. Now, he’s even more driven to make a difference."