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Ringing up donations to support cancer patients

Inspired by her grandmother’s battle with cancer, a 13-year-old Elmira girl’s fundraising effort resulted in a donation this week of $860 to the Grand River Regional Cancer Centre.

Olivia Weiss has been making rings and selling them online to help patients in the area. She can be found on Instagram selling them via @livs_bling.

“I was pretty upset when my Nonni was first diagnosed with cancer, and I wanted to help. I actually started when I was over at my Nonni’s house to stay the night, and I saw a girl on Tik Tok making rings. So that night we ordered supplies to do it because I thought it would be something cool to do,” explained the St. Teresa elementary school student.

“I started making them, and they turned out really good. My Nonni said I should start selling them, then I would just donate some of the money to cancer.”

Olivia started making and selling rings last April. On Tuesday,  she handed over a cheque to the Grand River Regional Cancer Centre. That coincided with another special day for their family: her Nonni’s last chemotherapy session, after which she got to sound the ceremonial gong for those who’ve completed their treatment.

“It’s my mom’s last chemo appointment, too, so that kind of makes it extra special. We didn’t think we’d be able to go in to see her ring the gong, but we were told that they’re letting people come in now. So, we are going to watch her do that and then Olivia gets to give her cheque over, so it’s an extra special day,” said Olivia’s mother, Nicole Weiss, ahead of the big day.

“I kind of posted a thing about why she’s raising money in our Facebook group for our trailer park, so we had a lot of interest. After the garage sale, now people know that she’s selling them – even this weekend people came by, and it’s been really cool that way because she’s actually got to meet a lot of people,” said Weiss of the response to her daughter’s efforts.

“She was getting orders through her Instagram and friends of friends that heard about it, but she didn’t really get to meet people in person because of COVID. So, since she started at the trailer, it’s been really cool because people come and walk by and we hear the stories of other breast cancer survivors.”

Olivia says she plans to keep fundraising for the cancer centre through sales of her rings and other methods such as garage sales.

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