When an adult finds a way to take a difficult personal experience and use it in a positive way to help others, that’s special. When a child does so, it’s even more remarkable.

Cierra McCauley, 11, a fifth-grader at Rockcreek Middle School and an Elizabethtown resident, understands what a challenge is in a way most children her age do not. She was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma just before Thanksgiving in 2012. A cancerous growth on her neck spread to her earlobe and shoulder. She required six months of chemotherapy.

That sickness couldn’t get her down. Even while going through treatments, Cierra continued her passion for dancing as a competitive dancer for Sonya’s Dance Zone.

The good news is she’s been cancer free for four years.

The even better news is that Cierra is combining her passion and past experience to help raise awareness of childhood cancer through a social media campaign, Dancer Beating Cancer.

She’s encouraging people to record a video of people dancing to music, post it on social media using the hashtag #DancerBeatingCancer and make a donation to Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis to help fund pediatric research — important in the fight against cancer.

So far, participants have included residents from as far away as New York and Louisiana. That shows that Cierra’s message is resonating with people far and wide, and having an impact.

That’s important if new treatments and cures for childhood cancers are to be discovered.

And when they are, Cierra’s efforts will have played a role.

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