Erin Roos is a born optimist. Instead of crawling into a hole and hiding when disaster strikes, she sees problems and attacks them head on.
When her father was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor a year and a half ago, Erin responded with love, determination, a heightened appreciation of life and some big goals. Her father’s battle added rocket fuel to Erin’s naturally cheerful, competitive spirit and spurred her on to become a record-setting fundraiser for cancer research.
“After I got over the denial and helplessness of Dad’s diagnosis, I wanted to do something,” Erin says. “Fundraising is productive and hopeful.”
This year, Erin hopes to break two of her own records. In 2009, she was the second highest Relay For Life fundraiser in the country, raising more than $20,000 for the American Cancer Society (ACS). This year, she hopes to raise $25,000. She also wants to improve on her lacrosse team’s second place finish last year and, as team captain, lead them to the State Championship.
Erin is the third of four siblings and the only daughter in a close family.
“My brothers have been my role models,” she says. “They’re good at sports, lots of fun and get good grades. I learned by example.”
And she learned well—Erin plays three varsity sports, carries a demanding academic load and is headed to Brown University this fall.
Her faith has helped her, too.
“I now see this as a blessing,” Erin says. “I really believe everything happens for a reason. I live every day to the fullest and I try to love everyone.”
Erin’s mother, Abby, describes her as “strong-willed and always fighting for her slice of the pie because she is surrounded by brothers.”
“She leads with her heart and stands up for the underdog,” Abby says.
Erin inherited her spirit from her mother. Faith, strength and love of family and community permeate their conversations.
Her father, Michael, is back at work at Kraft, and continues monthly chemotherapy.
Her dad’s faith inspires her, and similarly, her attitude inspires everyone around her.
To read more inspiring stories about amazing kids, or to nominate an amazing kid you know for the “Amazing Kids! of the Month” award, visit the Amazing Kids! website, amazing-kids.org. Amazing Kids! is a children’s educational non-profit organization dedicated to helping inspire excellence in children while helping them to realize their own amazing potential.”