Brianna Saevitzon was told at an early age that, because of a medical condition, she would need to accept certain physical limitations. The warnings had the opposite effect.
“She refused to be ‘labeled’ and focused on going through obstacles, not around them,” said her father, Brett Saevitzon, of Sherman Oaks, Calif., of his now 11-year-old daughter. The Saevitzons, Brett and Jiran, have four children ranging in ages from 10 to 22.
Brianna’s determination proved tremendously helpful when she began to tackle her first fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital after watching a television commercial featuring children who looked just like her fighting cancer.
“She added push-ups to the challenge to give everybody a chance,” he said. The school agreed to the fundraiser provided Brianna do all the work.
Brianna created posters, talked up the idea to students at every opportunity and set a goal of raising $5,000. To reach that goal, she proposed that each student recruit five sponsors at a minimum of $10 each.
In total, 135 of Brianna’s classmates participated in the contest held during school hours and raised more than $5,000. Her goal next is 100 percent participation and doubling the donation, Brett said.