Young fundraiser visits MD Anderson
Brayden Rivera, a 7-year-old from Texas City, is not one to think small. On Halloween, for example, while most of his peers concentrated on filling their trick-or-treat bags with candy, Brayden used the holiday to help end cancer. Dressed as Mario, he knocked on doors and asked for donations to MD Anderson.
"Money is a tool," he told surprised neighbors. "Doctors have tools, but they need money to buy more to help people."
Brayden, whose mother, Ashley Rivera, is a patient at MD Anderson's Bay Area location, already had collected enough cash and coins from friends and family to fill a gallon-size Ziploc bag. The Halloween haul brought the total to $385, and he was determined to present the money to "the important people" at MD Anderson.
Brayden and his parents accepted an invitation to the president's office on the 20th floor of T. Boone Pickens Tower. After much anticipation, the big day arrived, and Brayden personally handed the money to Peter WT Pisters, M.D. It was Pisters' third official day in his new role as MD Anderson's fifth full-time president.
Ashley Rivera found her son's stash while cleaning his room one day in October.
"MD Anderson needs my help," he told her. "We need to end cancer."
Pisters thanked Brayden for his generosity and gave him an ID badge recognizing him as an honorary friend of the institution.
"Brayden, you have the opportunity to help us in Making Cancer History," said Pisters. "Now you're a cancer fighter, too."