GVSU seniors 'Moving with Purpose'

Capstone students partner to support childhood cancer research

By Taylor Crowley | 3/1/18 1:25am

GVL / Courtesy - ocolly.com

Personal tragedy and emotion have the power to facilitate activism and change. 

A family frustrated with the lack of cancer treatment for their 2-year-old son started a movement called “With Purpose” that will donate all proceeds they make to research for children’s cancer. 

"With Purpose" relies on youth-led activism as well as academic and community partnerships to get the word out about the lack of research dedicated to childhood cancer. 

Grand Valley State University students involved in their advertising and public relations capstone class have paired with the organization to create the movement “Moving with Purpose.” The students are entered in a national competition that will decide who has done the best job promoting their organization.

Two students on the "Moving with Purpose" team, Marissa Ensing and Karlee Tykosky, are doing everything they can to spread the news. Their goal is to reach a large amount of people in only one month.

The group started its campaign Thursday, Feb. 15, coinciding with International Childhood Cancer Awareness Day, and it will end Thursday, March 15.

The group wanted to encourage physical activity while bringing attention to the
"With Purpose" mission, hence the creation of "Moving with Purpose." The original plan was to host a silent disco, but instead, the group made this a month-long event.

“This allows everyone in the community to get involved," Ensing said. "Everyone can get up and move around. Especially being on a college campus, there are a lot of people at the gym going in and out. We thought it was a cool way to reach a lot of people.”

Ensing described this process as exciting and said she is happy with the community and its willingness to get involved with the movement. 

The group even submitted an email to Fox News and, in return, was asked to be interviewed about the campaign. Ensing and Tykosky appeared on the news earlier this week.

The student-led group started the hashtag #MovingwithPurpose and wanted gym-goers to post a picture or video of themselves getting up and being active. The purpose of the hashtag is to raise awareness that action to fight childhood cancer is missing. 

“We are too afraid to look at any of the statistics yet, but we have partnered with nine gyms,” said Tykosky. “All of them are helping us pass out flyers.”

GVSU’s Recreation Center and local gyms, such as the ones on 48 Avenue and Lake Michigan Drive, have paired with the group to show their support for the campaign.

The campaign aims to use movement and healthy living to raise awareness. This allows GVSU students and others to be involved in the charitable movement by just posting during their everyday exercise routines. 

In addition, on Wednesday, March 14, the group will host a Zumba event to celebrate the closing of the #MovingwithPurpose campaign. 

Of working alongside "With Purpose," the women said they have developed a connection with the organization and are happy and proud to be able to support the movement. 

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