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Pattonville High School 2497 Creve Coeur Mill Road Maryland Heights, MO 63043 Twitter: @phsTODAY

Vol. 78 Issue 4 March 2014

Special St. Baldrick’s Day Edition

I stand up for ...

In the space above, please write the name of a person you are standing up for that has been affected by cancer. Then take a picture and share it on Twitter or Instagram using #phsSPIRIT in honor of the person you stand up for. We will share all the submissions online.




St. Baldrick’s Event Timeline for March 15, 2014 All events to take place at Holman Middle School, 11055 St. Charles Rock Road, St. Ann, MO 63074. Times are subject to change. 11 a.m. - 11:20 a.m. Opening Ceremony -National Anthem -Pattonville High School Pep Band -Jr. Pirates Drill Team -Presentation of St. Baldrick’s Ceremony Plaque 11:25 a.m. - 12 p.m. Shave Wave 1 -Pattonville Learning Center -Drummond Elementary -Willow Brook Elementary 11:55 a.m. Jr. Pirate Drill Team Performance 12 p.m. - 2:20 p.m. Shave Wave 2 -Pattonville High School -StlTeeco 2:20 p.m. Heights 7th Grade Band Performance

2:35 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Shave Wave 3 -Pattonville Heights Middle School -Parkwood Elementary -Holman Middle School 3:30 p.m. Holman Step Team Performance 3:35 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Shave Wave 4 -Bridgeway Elementary 4:30 p.m. High School Jazz Band Performance 4:45 p.m. - 5 p.m. Shave Wave 5 -Remington Traditional 5 p.m. Holman Jazz Band Performance 5:15 - 6:15 Shave Wave 6 -Rose Acres Elementary 6:15 – 6:30 p.m. Closing Ceremony

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March 2014

District to participate in St. Baldrick’s

Bridgeway Elementary raised over $25,000 last year as only school involved By Natalie Siegel and Brady Bell One year ago, Bridgeway Elementary School participated in a school-wide St. Baldrick’s event to raise money for childhood cancer research. This year, the entire Pattonville community will have the opportunity to shave their head for a great cause. “Last year, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and our school led the charge to change this startling reality,” Bridgeway Elementary School fifth grade teacher Tammy Anderson said. “We had the unique opportunity to witness the power and heart of our students, families and community as we raised an astonishing $25,602 in the fight against childhood cancer.” It all started with Anderson’s son when his grandpa was going through treatments for Stage 4 Lymphoma cancer. “Without hesitation, my son asked if he could shave his head like papa so he wouldn’t be bald alone,” Anderson said, who serves as a team captain. “We attended a head shaving event at Helen Fitzgerald’s and watched my son shave in support of his grandfather.”

It was then that Anderson witnessed the power of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation raises millions of dollars each year to donate to childhood cancer research. They spend all year traveling to various schools around the country to hold school-wide shaving events. This year, Pattonville is hosting a district-wide event at Holman Middle School on Saturday, March 15. Each school in the district will have the opportunity to participate. “Students, teachers, family members and anyone else affiliated with the Pattonville community is welcome to participate,” Pattonville art teacher and high school team captain Soctt Fader said. Bridgeway had 105 students and teachers participate in the event last year. In 2014, the district has more than 220 individuals volunteering to cut their hair. Third grade teacher at Bridgeway Nicole Hagedorn said St. Baldrick’s really brought people together to rally for a good cause. “It was amazing to see our small community school come together and pool resources to raise

approximately $25,000 and teach everyone the priceless lesson that we can make a difference.” Bridgeway guidance counselor Lisa Bayer said the event brought new meaning to the word courage to the students. “Through our month-long fundraising efforts and creating awareness about what St. Baldrick’s is about, our students learned about the amazing amount of courage that kids with cancer have,” Bayer said. “Our kids were touched by the stories of kids who have battled cancer and they were inspired to stand up and support them by raising money.” All shaves and cuts will be taking place at Holman Middle School on March 15. For those who don’t wish to shave their entire head, they can sign up online to cut part of their hair for Locks of Love or simply volunteer to raise money. This will be Fader’s first time participating in St. Baldrick’s. His personal goal is to raise at least $500 before shaving his beard. “Our main goal as a community is to raise $20,000 for a very important cause,” Fader stated. “All donations and volunteers are welcome.”

Breast cancer returns to Lasserres Junior Craig Lasserre has been personally affected by his mom’s battle against the disease By Patricia Parsons

“Oh crap, not again. This isn’t fair.” Those were the first thoughts junior Craig Lasserre had when his mom was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago. This was the second time Kelle Lasserre had been diagnosed. The first time Kelle was diagnosed was seven years ago, when Craig was in the fourth grade. “It didn’t start affecting me until she went through chemo the first time and started to lose her hair,” Craig stated. His grandparents lived across the street from them and would cook for their family. “All my family would give everything to us.” When Kelle was diagnosed with cancer, she first thought “Why me?” but soon made her mind up to go through treatment with a strong will. “I viewed the cancer as an obstacle to overcome and continued on with my life as if nothing had happened. Life moves on,” Kelle stated.

The Lasserres (left to right) Craig, Mark, Kelle and Kevin, have been impacted by breast cancer twice. Then two years ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer again. This was especially hard on Craig because he and his mom are close. According to Craig, their relationship improved when she was diagnosed and they became closer. The Lasserre family has changed their diet since Kelle was diagnosed. They now eat no processed food, limited red meat (grass fed beef), limited poultry (natural, cage-free), limited dairy, no artificial ingredients, organic fruits and vegetables, and fresh wild salmon. “I have become convinced that

I developed cancer because of the chemicals in our food and environment,” Kelle explained. Kelle has tried to live as normal of a life as possible and encourages her family to do the same. “We are trying to have more fun as a family rather than getting wrapped up in the day-to-day pressures of life. Doing these things also helps me de-stress,” Kelle said. Over winter break, the family, excluding Craig’s older brother, went on a vacation to Arizona after putting it off for years. While describing their trip, Craig said they went hiking, fed birds and did all the things that they had planned to do. “It was really hard for my mom because she had a treatment of chemo before we went and had started losing her hair.” Their battle against cancer has been long and hard, testing their strength. While the fight is not over, Craig knows they will not let cancer control their actions. “It made me realize that life’s short and to take every advantage that you can.”


March 2014

Seven Tips for Cancer Prevention



Cancer as a class project

Biology 2 focuses on different types of the disease


Screening: -In order to prevent cancer, you have to protect yourself against viral infections. -Make sure to have your doctor check for: -Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B can increase the risk of liver cancer. -Human Papillomavirus (HPV): HPV is a sexually transmitted disease that has been linked to cause cervical, genital cancers, and squamous cell cancers of the head and neck.

“Although cancer can sometimes be genetic and environmental, there are selfscreenings, such as breast and testicular exams, that you can perform monthly. Also be aware of your body; pay attention to any moles or new developments on your skin.” - Mrs.Valerie Guetschow and Mrs. Heidi Lanham, school nurses

Limiting alcohol usage: -Alcohol should not be consumed, or at least done so in moderation -Drinking alcohol increases the possibility of breast, colon, lung, kidney, and liver cancers

Students in Biology 2 complete a project on different types of cancer. After they complete all the research, students put the information on a poster. After the posters are finished, students present their findings to the class and the posters are displayed in the hallway in the science wing. Photo by Maggie Vitale

Avoiding tobacco: -Smoking tobacco has been associated with various types of cancer such as lung, bladder, cervix, and kidney. -Chewing tobacco has been associated with oral cavity and pancreas cancers -Even second-hand smoke can increase your risk of lung cancer.

By Maggie Vitale

Protecting yourself from UV rays: -Skin cancer is one of the most common types, as well as most preventable sort of cancer -Avoiding direct sunlight from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are the strongest helps in avoiding skin cancer -Staying in the shade and avoiding the sun when at all possible will help combat the risk of skin cancer -Cover exposed areas with clothing that protects as much skin as possible.

Eating a well-balanced diet: -Although it may not guarantee cancer prevention, it helps reduce the risk. -Because obesity can increase your cancer risk, eating a diet full of at least 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day and limiting fats can help combat the chance of cancer.

“Avoid foods or products that have been proven to increase your risk of cancer and fill your body with things that have been proven to fight cancer such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Don’t forget to eat a nice variety of foods so that your body is able to pull out the nutrients that it needs.” -Ms. Janet Kuhn, FACS teacher

Practicing safe behaviors: -Either practicing abstinence or safe sex (limiting amount of partners and using protection) helps to cut back on the chances of contracting a sexually transmitted disease like HIV or HPV. People living with HIV or AIDS have a higher chance of developing anus, liver, and lung cancers, whereas HPV is associated with cervical, penis, throat, vulva, and vagina cancers. -Avoid sharing needles because it can lead to HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C which can all increase the risk of liver cancer -Receiving regular medical care, regular self-exams and screenings.

Maintaining a healthy weight and exercise pattern: -By maintaining a healthy weight, your chances of breast, prostate, lung, colon, and kidney cancers have a strong chance of being lowered. -By exercising regularly, it allows you to maintain a healthy weight and possibly lower the risk of breast and colon cancer. Credit from:

“When a person is overweight, the body has to work that much harder in order to do everyday activities and stay healthy. Which in turn can eventually lead to a higher risk of cancer.” - Coach Brent Mueller, physical education teacher and wrestling coach

“Cancer to me, is a terrible thing that happens to way too many people, and it’s something we don’t know a whole lot about,” biology teacher Dana Burns said. “But as a science teacher, I would tell you that cancer is uncontrolled cell division.” One of the classes that Burns teaches is Biology 2, in which they do a unit on cancer. Burns feels “it is important to learn about cancer because almost everybody is going to be affected by cancer in their lifetime, and there’s been a lot of surveys saying that they predict cancer to go up 50 percent in next 20 years.” So in Biology 2, students have a unit which requires them to complete a project on cancer. Burns said they do the project to “introduce cancer to students and hopefully students will become aware about cancer and how it will affect their body.” During this project, students work with partners and research a cancer of their choosing. They research the different causes, symptoms, preventions, and treatments. They also find research articles and report what they learned from that article. After finishing all the research, they put the information on a poster and present what they learned to the class. Before the project, cancer to senior Hamza Alvi was “only cancer, but, now it is more than cancer. It is a problem that must be looked upon.”

Alvi chose to learn about breast cancer. “It always fascinated me, and I always wanted to learn about it and help if I could in anyway.” Burns said she loves doing this project in her class. “I love when students come up with information and because I learn a lot as well about the different cancers,” Burns said. “One of the things we do is talk about new treatments and new drugs, which from year to year is constantly changing and there is a bunch of new information.” Junior Andrea Prater chose to research colon cancer because a family member had the disease and it was close to her heart. “My grandma had colon cancer and I wanted to learn more about it.” Prater said she learned “about the different causes of colon cancer and how some of it can be prevented by the right diet and getting exercise.” Burns hopes that students learn a lot from this project. “I think cancer is one of those things that is so real and it’s something that will be around.” Prater liked this project because she could learn more about the cancer that affected her grandma and said it was a good learning experience. Alvi also liked the project. “I am always into science and human medical courses,” Alvi said. “It meant a lot to me but I wish I could do more about it.”

March 2014 PIRATE PRESS 4 FEATURES ‘Faith Not Fear’ increased overall awareness PIRATE PATRONS in childhood cancers with T-shirts, fundraisers Pirate Patrons receive a mailed subscription to the Pirate Press and get a special listing in all published newspapers and the yearbook. Donations are used for student scholarships and to offset the printing costs of all student publications. If you are interested in joining the Pirate Patrons or advertising in the Pirate Press, please visit

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Seeing his own daughter in the hospital for cancer showed Fader that we are a long way from a cure By Tim Vleisides

“It was a very difficult time for me, personally,” Mr. Scott Fader verbalized from somewhere within his woolly beard. It’s late February, just over two weeks before the highly anticipated St. Baldrick’s fundraiser, and the Pattonville art teacher is recalling some of his experiences throughout his daughter’s battle with cancer. “I wasn’t in school half the time,” Fader continued. “My daughter was in the hospital and I was back and forth a lot because she wasn’t doing well.” While his daughter Delia’s struggles at the time were fairly obvious, Fader admits that the duration of her year-long battle with Lymphoma, and even the months since her passing on March 12, 2013, have been troubling. Extended time away from school and frequent hospital visits characterized this rough period for him, in which he witnessed not only his daughter but also many other children suffer from cancer and the harsh treatment processes. “While we were at the hospital…we saw just as many kids [pass] as there were those who [survived],” Fader recalled. “It strengthened my concern for the issue. I wasn’t aware of how rampant it was.” However, as a result of all his struggles, Fader arrived upon an eye-opening realization. “Seeing [Delia] and, even more so, seeing all these kids in the children’s hospital affected by cancer showed me that we’re a long way from any kind of cure,”

Fader asserted. “It showed me that more needs to be done, and St. Baldrick’s is just one way.” So began Fader’s involvement with St. Baldrick’s. Fader learned of St. Baldrick’s during Delia’s battle at the children’s hospital, as well as through the organization’s head-shaving event at Bridgeway Elementary School last year. Following this fundraiser, when informed that St. Baldrick’s would continue to put on the event annually, Fader jumped on the opportunity to become involved with the program. Though the event is not new to the Pattonville School District, St. Baldrick’s has received much more participation from the high school students and staff with Fader’s help as an unofficial liaison. “I’m certainly not responsible for bringing [St. Baldrick’s] to Pattonville,” Fader acknowledged. “I’m nothing more than anyone else. It’s what the school does as a whole with student involvement and awareness that matters.” With the event fast approaching on March 15, Fader is both impressed with involvement and optimistic about results. Thirty-two students volunteered to shave their heads as part of the program with 13 others donating at least 8 inches of their hair to Locks of Love. Additionally, the Pattonville School District team has surpassed its fundraising goal for the event by $20,000, and the high school is not far from eclipsing its goal as well. “We’ve had a lot of cancer fundraisers here before,” Fader stated. “And, from what I’ve seen even prior to this, Pattonville has always been super supportive.”

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Mr. Pete Barrett and Mr. Scott Fader watch the bleachers fill up on March 22, 2013, as participants of the “Faith Not Fear” T-shirt fundraiser gather for a group pictures. With sales and donations, it was announced that morning that $5,600 was raised to help these two teachers’ families.

Barrett’s daughter is now cancer-free but family realizes that the battle against disease continues By Jordan Colquitt

Driver’s Education teacher Pete Barrett noticed his daughter Ashlee was very ill and was in a tremendous amount of pain. After a doctor’s visit, he got a phone call from the doctor’s office stating his 22-year-old daughter was diagnosed with cancer. He described it as surreal. “[It’s] like you were in a different world. But, my instincts were how to get this fixed so I reacted like a lot of parents do, I didn’t really dwell on it because our mindset was she was going to beat this and be healthy,” Barrett stated. Ashlee has been diagnosed with Leukemia twice; once when she was 22 and the second time when she was 23. He noticed she’s been very emotional. “When you get it back, it‘s worse than the first time because you know what’s coming. We knew this meant more months of devastating chemo and having to get a stem cell transplant.” Barrett said anything such as a cold; your mind goes to is cancer coming back. “What I tell people about cancer

is, you break a leg you get it healed but with cancer once you get and are free of it, the battle continues.” Right now, Ashlee is cancer-free after spending two birthdays at the Siteman Cancer Center. She still has a lot of physical problems including stomach pains but she is now a second grade teacher at Discovery Elementary School in St. Charles and got married last June. “It’s been a long hard road but we are happy she’s cancer-free,” Barrett said. “Physically she doesn’t sleep very well, she gets run-down a lot, but every day you get up cancer free, it’s a good day.” Last year, Pattonville supported Faith Not Fear and this year, its supporting St. Baldrick’s. To Barrett, it’s a very humbling experience and it made life a lot easier having people around him who supported him and cared. “The response from both Faith Not Fear and St. Baldrick’s has been remarkable. The outpouring of support from teachers and students had been tremendous and really means a lot to me and my family.”

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March 2014



Radioactive waste creates Cancer research: More than just a phrase Money raised helps doctors advance in searching for a cure to the disease issues for North County By Mariah Lindsey

Fires at West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton could become an even greater problem, have links to cancer By Arael Rauls

Twenty-six years have passed since Janell Wright and her peers in the class of 1988 graduated from Pattonville High School. During that time, through all the class reunions and with the help of social media, Wright discovered over 700 cases of auto-immune disorders and cancers within four square miles. Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, Wright’s classmate, ran an analysis to test the likelihood of so many cases of diseases such as these in such a concentrated area. The Probability? Just .00000001. That’s a one in 100,000,000—one hundred million—chance. This is not a coincidence. Back in the 1940s, during WWII, downtown St. Louis was chosen as an area to purify uranium for the first atom bombs, a process that created huge amounts of radioactive waste. In that same decade, it was decided that the waste would be moved, uncovered, into the North County area. In two more decades, the government began documenting content leaks into Coldwater Creek. Add three decades, and it was confirmed that unsafe levels of radioactive materials were in the water. The leaks have since been solved, but now another problem faces the North County community. The fires at the Westlake Landfill in Bridgeton pose a threat to the safety of the North County community. Due to proximity, the underground fires may reach the nuclear waste. Chemistry teacher Kathleen Shearrer is concerned about the rate at which this could happen. “Experts disagree on the risks and threats of the underground fire reaching the buried nuclear wastes; some predict that it will happen anywhere from one to three years, some predict never.” Junior Amber Hall has done some research of her own. “There is a countdown of about 200 or so days to when the fire will spread and reach the deposit,” Hall said. “This is bad.” While that threat may be increasing, Shearrer also addresses the immediate concerns surrounding the landfill.

A warning sign hangs Friday, Feb. 24, 2012, on a fence that surrounds a pit of radioactive material at the St. Louis Airport Site on the north side of Lambert St. Louis International Airport and just off James S. McDonnell Boulevard. The area abuts Coldwater Creek, which runs north from the airport through north St. Louis County into the Missouri River. AP Photo by David Carson

“Potentially this underground smoldering can release carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, and sulfur dioxide.” Each of these substances are toxic to human breath. Benzene, a known cancer-causing substance, could also be released. As far as cancer is concerned, however, Shearrer believes that as long as the radioactive wastes stay contained and away from the fires, it will not be a problem. The amount of time until this is no longer the situation is unknown. Recently, jurisdiction of the West Lake Landfill passed hands from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to the U.S. Army Corps Engineers’ Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP). A letter addressed to Administrator Brooks of the landfill states that “Inclusion of the West Lake Landfill in FUSRAP is the most appropriate mechanism for the safe management of the radioactive materials at this location.” Shearrer does not know whether this change will help or hurt the situation, but she does believe it will force a change.

Amid the countless amount of programs dedicated to informing the general public about every aspect of cancer, there is always the promise that the efforts of individuals to raise money for certain organizations will go to cancer research. To many who may have strong feelings about the affects of cancer, “cancer research” can be incorrectly looked at as a vague phrase. Sophomore Megan Morris will be shaving her head on March 15 at Holman Middle School for St. Baldrick’s, a volunteer-driven children’s cancer charity event, and has raised about $80 for cancer research in the past. “I know people who have had cancer, and I’m really excited for St. Baldrick’s,” Morris said. Morris is also optimistic about how the proceeds for the event will be used. “I don’t believe that it takes too long for the money to be used,” Morris said. “Cells that we don’t even know much about can mutate and reproduce rapidly, and

research can be effective, but it takes time and money.” Sophomore Nathalie Solorio, like Morris, will be shaving her head at the St. Baldrick’s event on March 15. “My family and I have donated to Teletón, St. Jude’s, and St. Baldrick’s. I feel that although with no cure yet, cancer research is really effective. If we all work together and contribute, we can get progress done.” Last year, the St. Baldrick’s event was only held at Bridgeway Elementary School and the foundation raised $23,278.03 from students and faculty. This year, it is a district-wide event. Pattonville High School had a goal of raising at least $20,000 and as of March 12, it has raised $18,511 through its participants according to the St. Baldrick’s team homepage. This does not take in account cash donations which will be given on the day of the event. The district goal of $25,000 being raised has been reached with the amount of donations of all participating schools totaling $65,782, as of March 12. Again, cash donations and money

from T-shirt sales and other contributions have not yet been added. Dr. Matthew Ellis, MB, BChir, PhD, is a co-leader of the Breast Cancer Research program at Barnes-Jewish’s Siteman Cancer Center and provided insight on the logistics of cancer research. “I run a program of folks who are finding better ways to treat cancer patients through scientific methods. Our program is composed of investigators who study the work with patients, laboratories, and prevention centers to find ways to improve women’s health.” Ellis also notes they are funded in different ways, with grant applications and research corporations such as Susan G. Komen, the United States Army, local charities, and the American Cancer Society. In regards to how often new developments in research are found, Ellis said, “these days, it’s more often than you would think. The best way to describe progress for patients is that we are doing something differently today than we did the last.”





I stand up By Zack Balzer


ZOLL CHANGES HAIR COLOR TO RAISE AWARENESS Some students and faculty enjoy the fact that they are shaving their head for cancer research, but art teacher Kathy Zoll is taking it a whole step further. For the past 5 weeks, Zoll has been coloring her hair a different shade each week. She has even asked her students what color she should choose next. “I have been putting my picture out there on Facebook and the St. Baldrick’s website every time I change my hair color just to somehow generate some kind of interest,” Zoll said. “I have friends from high school and old track and hockey teammates who can’t believe how obnoxious I’m being so they’re donating money. I think they are doing it to make me stop sending them pictures.” Coach Scott Fader’s daughter passed away last year and this is one of Zoll’s reasons of participating. “I saw what he and his family went through. I felt so hopeless and I couldn’t do anything. Now at least I can do something to help.” Generally, Zoll hates fundraising. But she said in this case, she has been so obnoxious with posting pictures and coloring her hair and feels like she can actually help with the overall goal by raising money. Even if it is by doing something as simple as shaving her head. “My daughters have also had three classmates who have passed away due to childhood cancer, one in high school and two in their grade school,” Zoll said. “I feel like I can do something for them just by this weird gesture.” Zoll’s goal was to raise at least $1,000 when she first started. As of March 12, she has raised $1,520.

Students were asked at lunch on March 4 to of someone that they stand up for while fight While the Merriam-Webster definition says made through speech and writing, it can also appearance. Six students are featured in this piece becau participating in the St. Baldrick’s fundraiser a money for the organization. At Pattonville High School, many students a decided to make the statement for standing u excessive length off of their hair for support to use as wigs, or shaving their head complet statement of support for childhood cancer pa Use the cover of the Pirate Press to make yo for ...” sign and share it with us using Twitter #phsSPIRIT.

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“I’m making the statement because I have had many friends and family members affected by cancer and some that have survived and some that have passed away,” sophomore Nathalie Solorio said. “I want to honor them and make the statement by something other than fundraising.” Read more about her story here:

“I’m making the statement for our art teacher, Mr. Fader,” sophomore Olivea Kaercher said. “I have him and his daughter in mind when I’m making the St. Baldrick’s statement.” Olivia is cutting 10 inches off of her hair at the St. Baldrick’s event to help raise awareness of the importance of childhood cancer. Read more about her story here:

“I’m making the statement because childhood cancer research is underfunded and I care about those kids and their families in the hospital,” sophomore Matt Mellring said. “I’m representing two children that are family friends, Charlie and Maddie, who are on my mind when I’m making the statement.” Read more about his story here:

“I’m making the statement because I think it’s the right thing to do,” junior Carter Yarnell said. “While I support all of the childhood cancer patients, I don’t have one in particular I’m representing, but I’m making the statement for my grandfather who lost to cancer.” Read more about his story here:

“I’m making the statement because after reading about the kids, it really made me feel like I was doing something good, ” sophomore Megan McGinty said. “My grandparents passed away from cancer, so that motivated me to make the statement.” Read more about her story here:

March 2014 PIRATE PRESS 8 FEATURES Junior looks at life differently after mother’s cancer battle After mother overcame a series of obstacles, breast cancer affected Megan Hardesty’s family in several ways By Ben Rutledge

Certain students like junior Megan Hardesty have experienced unimaginable difficulties and struggles. Hardesty is one of those certain students that have had to deal with hardships. Her mother, Patricia Hardesty, was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer on Aug. 27, 2012. Her mother overcame her battle with cancer and is currently in remission. “Finding out my mom had cancer was shocking,” Hardesty said. “I never imagined it being cancer.” She remembers coming home from school one day to see her mother crying in the kitchen. She could tell that there was something seriously wrong as her mother said, “They found cancer.” Hardesty remembers going into a deep depression for months on end after hearing this news. “I really felt like my life was over.”

The next step for Hardesty and her mother was surgery. Her mom had a double mastectomy on Oct. 4, 2012. Hardesty remembered what a terrible experience this was. “This was probably the worst thing I’ve ever been through in my entire life.” Megan said her mother could not eat because she couldn’t raise her arms, bathe, or even walk for about 8 weeks. “I had to become her nurse. It was unimaginably difficult seeing my mom in this state, but I instinctively took on the role of being her full-time caretaker.” Hardesty and her mother had to get through immense struggles after chemotherapy treatment. Her mom’s muscles and joints would severely ache; she had fevers above 105 degrees that would make her bedridden for weeks. Hardesty definitely had to take on the role of a caregiver for her mother, as she would have to make a daily schedule for her

mother’s medicine. “I cooked and brought her meals, bathed her, and set my alarm for the middle of the night to check up on her,” Hardesty said. Hardesty’s mother is currently in remission for Stage 3 breast cancer but is on close monitoring for her brain and lungs. Her mother still gets check-ups frequently as Hardesty finds a way to deal with this whole process. She thinks her and her mother’s relationship has really grown through this process. “I listen to every word my mom tells me because I know if I don’t, one day, when she’s gone, I’ll look back and wish I did.” Hardesty has really learned to value every second she has with her mother. “I never know when our time together will come to an end.” This entire process for Hardesty has taught her a lot. It has taught her to appreciate not only her mom’s life, but her own life as well.

She said she had a few scares in which she almost lost her mother, but she has pulled through every time. “For the rest of my life, I will live with an appreciative attitude toward my mother while taking this experience along with me,” Hardesty reminisced. Hardesty considers her mother as her hero.

Her mother is a true fighter that has far beyond earned her respect from anyone. Hardesty believes the word cancer slips so easily off the tongue for other people, but because of the impact it has had on her, it really makes her have a completely new appreciation for that battle that is fought.

Sports promote cancer awareness

Kicks For Cancer helps students get involved with community issues By Abby Kieffer

There are many ways to promote cancer awareness and Pattonville High School’s sports teams do an excellent job at doing this. Some of the things that are done include the girls’ soccer team doing its annual Kicks For Cancer game. Other sports teams promote cancer awareness by wearing pink articles of clothing, and for football, some students wear pink cleats, gloves, wristbands or tape. “It’s just an awareness thing,” athletic director Bob Hebrank said. “A lot of professional and college teams do it and it made its way to the high school. It makes high school students aware that it’s a real thing because when you’re in high school, you can sometimes think you’re invincible.” Programs like Kicks For Cancer has been going on for 5 years. The money that is raised is donated to Cardinal Kids Cancer Center at Mercy Hospital. This year, the team decided to add more schools to help: Hazelwood West, Parkway Central and Ladue. Kicks For Cancer T-shirts will be sold during lunches during the

The 2011 varsity girls’ soccer team presents a check to the David C. Pratt Cancer Center at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center after hosting its Kicks for Cancer soccer game. File photo middle of April. During the game, soccer players hand out raffle tickets to give people a chance to win prizes, and during halftime, loved ones battling cancer are recognized. In 2011, Kicks For Cancer raised a total of $4,000. Every year that the check is given to Cardinal Kids Cancer Center, the soccer team and the coach have a very rewarding impact from that experience. “It makes me feel like one small action can make a big difference,” Ashanti Carey said. Carey said members of the team that are interested to tour the Center have the chance and said it was very emotional because she saw little kids with cancer.

“The girls want to give back to kids that are less fortune.” head coach Tom Iffrig said. During the football team’s Pink Out game, Marcus Stewart said he had many thoughts running through his head. “I feel like I’m representing something in a positive way. I’ve had someone in my family with cancer but I try not to think about it.” For some athletes like volleyball player McKenzi Jacobson, there is a personal connection to games like this. “My grandma had breast cancer so it motivates me to play harder during the games.”

9 Faculty shows support by participating in St. Baldrick’s event PIRATE PRESS

March 2014


Sparkman, Schmidt will shave head for St. Baldrick’s and Buchholz, daughter will donate at least 8 inches of hair to Locks of Love By Allison Leventhal

Cancer is a disease that impacts lives everywhere, whether it be in different countries, different states, or even in different school districts. At Pattonville, cancer has recently been a prominent subject due to the upcoming St. Baldrick’s event. This event gives each and every member of Pattonville a chance to show their individual support for cancer victims by shaving or donating their hair, or just helping to raise money. Any students and faculty members are allowed to participate. Pattonville High School’s event will take place on March 15, where 45 team members will participate. Three faculty participants, Ms. Julie Buchholz, Ms. Melissa Sparkman, and Ms. Donna Schmidt share what cancer means in their lives.

Librarian Ms. Julie Buchholz is choosing to participate in the St. Baldrick’s event by donating her hair because “it’s a wonderful cause to help raise money to go toward cancer research.� Like so many Pattonville families, cancer has personally affected her life. Buchholz shares that her sister-in-law has been suffering from leukemia. Buchholz said that her sister-inlaw “was fortunate enough to have two different [bone marrow] transplants. And she has two perfect matches within her family, which is very rare.� Math teacher Ms. Melissa Sparkman has been affected similarly, for her grandfather passed away with complications from a form of leukemia. Sparkman is shaving her head in honor of her grandfather and also in honor of friends of family members who have had children pass away due to cancer. Spark-

Ms. Melissa Sparkman (left) amd Ms. Donna Schmidt (center) will shave their heads for St. Baldrick’s on March 15. Ms. Julie Buchholz and daughter Katie (right) will donate at least 8 inches of their hair to Locks of Love.

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man said, “Anything to help raise money for cancer research is great. I figured this is something that I can do to help.� Brain cancer has been prominent in Ms. Donna Schmidt’s life because of a friend’s granddaughter who has been diagnosed. Schmidt explained, “She was diagnosed when she was three years old. She needed brain surgery and had to go through months of chemotherapy.� Four years later, she is now in remission.

Schmidt said cancer has made her much more appreciative of her friends and family. It has also changed her lifestyle, and that it makes her “motivated to try to eat healthy and not do things I know put you at risk.� The three participants agree that this event will greatly impact Pattonville. “Pattonville is such a close-knit community and we always come together in support of a cause that has impacted so many of us

To see updated photos of the participants after the St. Baldrick’s event, visit

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personally. I think it’s just going to make us stronger,� stated Buchholz. Sparkman adds, “It will bring more attention to the need to help raise money. It has gotten many students involved and showed them that they can be a part and help to make things better.�




March 2014

Bowling proves an easy way to strike out fatal diseases Teams from the Multiple Sclerosis Society of the Gateway Chapter organize Crazy Bowl, other events to raise money By Joseph Schneider

To an average person, bowling might not mean much more than rolling a heavy ball at dusty pins. But to a patient with Multiple Sclerosis or cancer, bowling events could mean the world to them. As a foundation that raises money and awareness for certain health diseases, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society of the Gateway Chapter (St. Louis Branch) organized their first ever Crazy Bowl event on Feb. 22 at Kingpin Lanes. In order to raise money for the group’s heavily anticipated 50-Mile Challenge Walk for the nerve-related disease, the MS Ramblers opened up to more than 50 participants committed to striking out Multiple Sclerosis. “The Crazy Bowl was pretty successful because [the planning] wasn’t time consuming (3-5 hours),” said member Ellen Staples. “We had over 50 participants and raised around $1,720 from this event alone. While exceeding the $1,500 requirement needed to participate in the Challenge Walk, Staples’ team (MS Ramblers of Gateway Chapter) hopes to raise $10,000 before the

event takes place in June 2014. The MS Ramblers hold similar fundraisers throughout the year to meet this goal. These include bike rides, obstacle course competitions, trivia nights, and quilt raffles and many other community-based events not needing difficult organization. “This money mainly goes to research for multiple sclerosis, otherwise it helps families [with someone impacted] pay for bills and medicine,” Staples said. “About half of our money is made through entry fees and the other half through raffles and silent auctions.” Multiple sclerosis is a disease that affects the central nervous system, specifically preventing the brain and spinal cord from functioning properly. Staples said “the disease of the past is nothing like MS of the present” in the sense it is more curable now, but still harmful. “They haven’t cured the disease yet, but have found ways to slow things down in the body,” Staples said. “It’s just a devastating disease that should be taken seriously.” One way that the MS Ramblers attempt to reach out to the community is by making

connections with several businesses in community. Over 15 sponsors and 13 families were credited for making cash or prize donations to the recent event. “People that own restaurants often give donations that we can use in a raffle basket or silent auction,” Staples said. “These donations don’t necessarily have to be products because people offer services for their businesses as well.” Without donations from companies like Dave and Buster’s and Mobil, the event might not have been possible. Regardless, the MS Ramblers were able to plan the event successfully with strong planning and high participation. The Crazy Bowl consisted of three games, two in which bowlers had the option to play by regular rules. However, the second game consisted of many unordinary twists such as bowling with the non-dominant hand or in slow motion. “My favorite thing about the event was bowling with friends,” said senior Kyle Terbrock. “I believe that bowling events are a great way for charities to collect money for health-related diseases and an easy way to have fun

Senior Kyle Terbrock was one of three Pattonville Bowlers who participated in the Crazy Bowl. After paying an entry fee of $25, bowlers had an opportunity to win attendance and raffle prizes. Photo by Joseph Schneider. while helping out the less fortunate.” As a member of the Pattonville bowling club, Terbrock was not thrilled with the tournament setup for the crazy-themed game, but thought the event was good practice that helped him roll a 602 series (200 average) in high school league the next day. Terbrock was not the only one who left the bowling alley satisfied, as many workers around Kingpin Lanes noticed the valuable contributions of MS during the event. “I appreciate holding these events


because I get to see people donate time, money, and efforts to a charity or organization that means a lot to them,” said Kingpin Lanes manager Mike Remaklus. “It is always nice to see people come together for a cause and work hard to achieve whatever goal was at stake for their fundraiser, and if they have a committed board of directors and volunteers to spread the word to people, then these events are normally successful.” Holding from seven to 10 fundraisers for health-related diseases yearly at Kingpin Lanes, Remaklus noted “the success ratio is about 50/50” based on how much effort is put into the events. He welcomes others to get involved “no matter the circumstance” if it helps a group “offset costs for an important disease.” “Fundraisers show the good in peoples’ hearts, which is often blocked by all the negativity in the world today,” Remaklus said. “Of course, when you are raising money for good causes and at the end of the night you have made money for your organization to donate, it is always a success.”

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March 2014

Conner’s Corner Cancer has made a big impact in my family By Conner Delles

Every person has a chance of getting cancer, whether it’s in the brain, heart, or lungs. Unfortunately, many do not survive through the sickness. Dec. 8, 2007, was the day that I lost my grandfather, and the day that made me realize that cancer is extremely dangerous. Of course, cancer can somewhat be prevented by not smoking, and eating certain “super” fruits that have an extreme amount of vitamins, but sometimes it’s hard to prevent when you have a habit in the way.

My grandfather smoked a large amount of his life away. Lung cancer was the killer that took his life at the age of 74 years old. This could have possibly been prevented had he never smoked, but my family was in no place to tell him what he should do. When a person is addicted to nicotine, it’s hard to quit. His addiction was hard to fight. One year before he died, he stopped smoking cigarettes. Even though he quit smoking, the lung cancer was already present. This is what took his life away from my family and me. This scares me because I used to be addicted to cigarettes. It was hard to quit, but eventually with the support of my family, I was able to quit the habit. One of the things that drove me and kept me going on my journey was the thought of my grandpa, and how his habit took his life when I was just 10 years old, and I was not going to let a habit of mine end up taking my own life early. Although not all cancer patients die, on Aug. 18, 1995, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at 21 years old. The doctor told my mother that because of the breast cancer, she could not have more children.

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Luckily, the doctor was wrong and my mother was able to have another child on Jan. 8, 1997. The child that she had was me. The doctors were not sure how aggressive the cancer was, and the tests were all different, and not as advanced as they are now. One week later, after being diagnosed, she had surgery and started treatment. Her plan was to quit work and travel around the world to places she wanted to visit like Ireland if the tests showed that the cancer was at Stage 4. She spent a lot of time reflecting on life with the time she had left. Her main goal was to change at least one person’s life so that she would be remembered. The biggest fear that she had was not being around for her daughter to grow up and being forgotten. Once she came out of surgery and after all the treatments, she continued to live day after day until she was told that the cancer was gone. After a few months of fear of death, the doctor told her she is now a cancer survivor. She was so proud and happy at the fact she was able to survive breast cancer. Cancer is one of the most difficult things to go through as a human. Many people lose relatives, friends, and sometimes even their own lives when going through it. Cancer has taken a few people in my life, and if you think you have cancer or are at risk, please go get checked out. If you smoke, please stop. Do anything possible to prevent cancer so that one day, cancer can stop taking the lives of the ones we love.


Staff Editorial


It is the opinion of the Pirate Press that cancer may be the most familiar disease among the public, but other disorders should be taken just as seriously. With a plethora of cancerfighting events such as St. Baldrick’s and Kicks For Cancer taking place soon, Pattonville obviously invests a significant amount of time into promoting awareness for the disease. In fact, this theory may hold so true that the district often overlooks other health issues within the community. As much as some people may try to deny it, plenty of other health problems affect certain faculty, students, or close ones around the high school environment. It’s not often we hear about autism, diabetes and multiple sclerosis, but what’s not to say these disorders can cause as much financial, physical and emotional stress as cancer? As respectful individuals and community members, we should take stronger action to recognize the struggles and efforts of other disorders, especially if a loved one has been diagnosed with such hardships. Oftentimes, cancer may be associated as one of the most powerful life-threatening issues because there are multiple forms that can heavily affect students. Breast Cancer has its own month, Skin Cancer has its own foundation and Testicular Cancer seems to target mid-aged active people. Yet, considering the severity behind such specific forms, these rare types of cancer prove to be more deteriorating than diseases with similar long-term effects. It’s not easy to determine how cancer earns such a bad connotation, but occasionally students and staff will wear shirts, bracelets or other clothing apparel to show how they stand up for the

Editor-in-chief Joseph Schneider

Web Editor Alyssa Potter

Managing Editor Allison Leventhal

Staff Writers Kyleigh Ambrosecchia Zack Balzer Brady Bell Dara Bingham

Multimedia Editor Bionca Maldonado


disease. Unfortunately, it may be a little more difficult to represent other diseases in a similar type of manner. Take autism for instance. Sure it may have its own awareness month (April) like Breast Cancer, but how often do we notice school-sponsored clubs collect donations for this disease solely? Given how the disease usually occurs from genetics upon birth, there may be virtually no cures for the disease. Knowing about the nature of autism may prevent people from teaming up against the disease, even though it could personally affect several students at Pattonville. While it could be difficult and slightly unethical to establish a club for autism, the school could sponsor fundraisers similar to St. Baldrick’s that promote awareness and raise funds to benefit such students. According to WebMD, the odds of obtaining autism are about 1 in 150, which could explain why cancer, with odds of obtaining it around 1 in 6, is preached about more often. Based on our common knowledge of health issues, we tend to make judgments that are untrue and sometimes hesitate from reaching out as a result. Regardless of the circumstance, any type of disease has the ability

to alter the lives of others. Think about the bills that must be paid off for medical attention. Think about the restrictive diet most patients must live under. Think about the emotional affects a disease can provoke for a victim’s family long-term. It’s fair to say that diseases can take a toll on family and friends in more ways than one. In the short-term, there may not be many options for Pattonville to consider. However, learning about other health disorders that affect students, faculty and close ones can provide a positive avenue for a wider range of the community. There are several innovative ways to spark change, raise funds, and promote awareness for other diseases that provide a bad reputation on society. Although cancer should remain a primary concern for years to come, Pattonville might build on its strong accreditation by understanding secondary diseases that have a rough toll on others within the district. We should all stand up for cancer while taking note of the underlying problems that exist away from the threatening disease.

Jordan Colquitt Luke Cwiklowski Conner Delles Abby Kieffer Mariah Lindsey Patricia Parsons Arael Rauls

Benjamin Rutledge Margaret Vitale Timothy Vleisides Adviser Brian Heyman

The Pirate Press is the open forum newspaper of Pattonville High School. The opinions published are of the publication and are open to criticism. As the members of the 2013-2014 staff, we dedicate ourselves to the accurate and objective dissemination of information to all readers. We will protect and exercise our First Amendment rights. The viewpoints of all staff members are to be regarded as separate from those of our administration, faculty, peers and adviser.



March 2014

Show your support: Cut and wear a ribbon

Bionca Maldonado

Here at the Pirate Press, we want you to tell us your story of how cancer has impacted your life.

Cut along the dotted line of a ribbon of your choice and then pin, tape or staple the ribbon to your shirt, your ID, or anything you want. We want others to know about

your fight so we created these ribbons for you to wear. Take a selfie, have someone take a picture of you or get a group of your friends together for a photo and simply tag it on Twitter or

Instagram with #phsSPIRIT. You can even share it directly with us by sending it to @phsTODAY on Twitter or Instagram. Help us raise awareness of cancer and bring our school together by

Breast Cancer

Ovarian Cancer

Pancreatic Cancer

White women have the highest breast cancer incidence rate of any racial or ethnic group.

Women who have not had children have a higher risk of ovarian cancer than women who have given birth.

The average life expectancy after diagnosis with this metastatic disease is just three to six months.

Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in both men and women in the United States.

Approximately every 10 minutes, someone in the United States dies from leukemia.

Skin Cancer

Colon Cancer

Multiple Myeloma

Liver Cancer

Esophageal Cancer

Lung Cancer

telling your story. You can personalize your photo by telling us who you are standing up for by wearing the ribbon. We will share all the submissions online at


Usually when cancer is found in the liver, it originated from a cancer that began somewhere else.

Esophageal cancer is three times more common among AfricanAmericans than among Caucasians.

The best ways to lower the risk of nonmelanoma skin cancers are to avoid intense sunlight.

Colon cancer does not discriminate and can happen to men and women at any age.

No two patients are entirely alike, and treatment and responses to this cancer can vary greatly.

Brain Cancer

Prostate Cancer

Thyroid Cancer

Cervical Cancer

Bladder Cancer

There are no racial demographics about brain cancer.

About one in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.

Fastest increasing cancer in both men and women.

Childhood Cancers

Head/Neck Cancers


The average age of death for a child with cancer is 8.

Head and neck cancer accounts for 5 percent of all cancers diagnosed in men.

Hodgkin lymphoma is one of the most curable forms of cancer.

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All women are at risk for cervical cancer. It occurs most often in women over the age of 30.

Cigarette smoking is the biggest risk factor; it more than doubles the risk.

Uterine Cancer

Kidney Cancer

Pregnancy and childbirth reduce the risk of uterine cancer.

Exact cause of kidney cancer is not known; cannot be prevented.

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March 2014 Pirate Press  

March 2014 Pirate Press - Special St. Baldrick's Day edition