The newest fighters in the battle against cancer are two Traer boys who know more about cancer than most. Travis and Evan Waller watched their mother face cancer and they now celebrate her survival. Because of that, they have decided to join the fight to help others survive. They call their project "Kickin' Cancer One $ at a Time" and make wallets out of duct tape. These creative boys have devised a neat method for creating attractive and durable billfolds using that householdehold staple - duct tape. They are donating all the proceeds to the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life right here in Tama County.
Travis Waller, 12, and Evan Waller, 9, saw this duct-tape wallet idea in a magazine. They decided to try making one. The product was attractive and useful plus it was a fun thing to do. Of course, at first each wallet took about an hour to create. By now, with lots of practice, they are able to make a wallet in about 15 minutes. Their stack of decorative duct tape is impressive. There are over 20 patterns ranging from Sponge Bob to camouflage to bright neon colors and they are always finding new patterns to use. Sometimes they have help from cousins, but most of the wallets are made by these two boys with their mother's help.
Travis and Evan are the sons of Sara Zeien. Sara faced cancer in 2008, completed treatment, and is now cancer-free. She shielded her sons from her fear at the time, but they know she fought a very serious battle with cancer. Sara sees this project as a way to support the American Cancer Society, but says it also serves as a valuable family project. It gives them quality time together, working on a common project, with face-to-face talking time. She admitted that when they are working on wallets, "There is duct tape everywhere!"
Travis and Evan Waller, of Traer, pose with wallets made entirely out of duct tape. All proceeds from the sales of their handmade wallets will directly benefit the Tama County Relay for Life.
These ambitious boys have raised over $100 for the Relay for Life of Tama County. They continue to sell their wallets for a mere $3.00 and will take orders about any time. As Evan says, "Just call my Mom at 319.404.8205."
This year's Relay for Life of Tama County will be held on Saturday, June 8, at the South Tama High School track. The event will run from noon until midnight. It will include food, fun activities, a Silent Auction, and special events to commemorate the battle against cancer. The American Cancer Society puts every donated dollar to work investing in cancer research and providing free information and services to cancer patients. For more information or to join the Relay for Life of Tama County contact Ashley Bohlen, Tama/Toledo, 641-484-0204; Marilyn Svoboda, Clutier, 319-479-2732; Karen Symonds, Dysart, 319-476-7762; Luane Lorenzen, Traer, 319-231-0820.
For every $100 raised at the Relay the American Cancer Society can
pay for lodging at Hope Lodge in Iowa City, which housed 38,000 patients and caregivers last year
help cancer patients get to treatment and back home again
support volunteers who visit newly diagnosed cancer patients
help guide patients through their cancer journey
fund research and new clinical trials
In 1971 the United States President signed the National Cancer Act. It took 20 years for the cancer death rate to begin to decline. We now know that two out of three cancer patients will survive. This is dramatic progress. Each contribution moves this effort forward toward earlier detection, better treatment, and more survivors. As these ambitious boys know, every donation helps in "Kickin' Cancer One $ at a Time."