Hartland girl receives national award for commitment to fight cancer

Annie Bartosz, the 13-year-old founder of the Hartland-based Gold in September charity, has been named a “100 Everyday Amazing” individual for her commitment to the fight against childhood cancer. Annie, who was selected from more than a thousand nominees, was honored on May 26 at the 8th annual “the one hundred” award ceremony in Boston.

“the one hundred” initiative was created by the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center to build awareness and celebrate hope in the cancer community. Themed “Celebrate Hope. Inspire Action. Change How we Fight Cancer.,” the event raised $2 million to support the MGH Cancer Center.

Annie created Gold in September after watching her twin brother, Jack, battle cancer for seven years. With Jack’s passing, Annie turned her grief into action. She became determined to turn the world gold in September, with gold and September being the nationally recognized color and month for childhood cancer awareness.

“Annie asked me why everyone knew that pink and October were the color and month for breast cancer awareness, but no one knew that gold and September were for childhood cancer awareness,” said Annie’s mom, Sarah. “I didn’t have a good answer for her, and Gold in September was born.”

Gold in September’s mission is to raise awareness, create hope, find cures and defeat cancer. Every day, approximately 36 children are diagnosed with cancer. Pediatric cancer remains the leading cause of death by disease in children, and the incidence of invasive cancer in children has increased by 29 percent in the last 20 years.

In partnership with the I Back Jack Foundation, Gold in September has raised $1.5 million since 2009. The I Back Jack Foundation is a public charity founded by Annie’s parents, Sarah and John Bartosz.

“I believe my brother would be proud of me, and though he may not be by my side, he will be in my heart forever. I believe in Gold in September,” Annie said.

For more information about Gold in September, visit www.goldinseptember.com.

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