Nicole Kleinhen: Cartwheels for Cures
One day, 10-year-old Nicole Kleinhen was watching the Disney Channel and saw a commercial encouraging kids to take action and do good deeds. Nicole, known as NicNak to her friends and family, immediately thought of her mom Sharon’s fight against lupus.
With her mom’s help, Nicole created the Cartwheels for a Cure campaign using the Lupus Foundation of America’s Make Your Mark™ fundraising platform.
“I decided since I love reading and love doing cartwheels, what would be better than to sell bookmarks to spread awareness? So, I had my mom help design a bookmark and with my birthday money I paid for a big bulk order of bookmarks,” said Nicole.
The bookmarks feature pictures of Nicole mid-cartwheel.
“She takes dance and acrobatics and does cartwheels everywhere we go,” said her mom Sharon, who was diagnosed with lupus in 2014. “It’s great that she wants to use them to help people with lupus.”
Nicole is selling her bookmarks for $5 each. With the help of friends, family and local businesses in their hometown, she’s already raised $500.
“I was so excited that all my friends and family were buying bookmarks to help support my mom and others with lupus,” said Nicole. “A local bakery –Sassy Mama Sweets contacted my mom and said they would love to help advertise and sell bookmarks. The studio where I dance helped advertise my fundraiser as well.”
Even though Sharon’s lupus diagnosis changed her family’s daily routine, they are her primary source of support and comfort as she deals with the effects of the disease on her body.
“When I don’t feel well and know I have to take it easy, it’s hard for the kids to understand since the disease is hidden,” said Sharon, making Nicole’s determination to help her mom even more special.
As for Nicole, she’s just glad to be able to make a difference and is grateful that so many people have supported her cause.
“Mom says to always look at the positive in life,” said Nicole. “I would say this experience is a positive one!”