Charms for Champions fundraises for Comer Children’s Hospital


Miriam Bloom

BRAIDS FOR A CAUSE. With a rainbow of string colors, Isabel Randall of Charms for Champions crafts a bracelet. Driven by family experiences with cancer, juniors Aisha Ziad and Isha Nayak created the club, and all funds raised from bracelet sales will be donated to Comer Children’s Hospital.

Madeline Welch, Opinion Editor

Upbeat music fills Judd C305 while students carefully braid colorful string bracelets with dangling silver charms. Isha Nayak and Aisha Ziad float around, helping 10 other club members make branded bracelets for a cause.

Aisha and Isha, juniors, have started a new club called Charms for Champions with a goal to sell handmade bracelets and raise funds for children with cancer at Comer Children’s Hospital.

For these club leaders, the mission is personal: their inspiration came from seeing their family members struggle with cancer.    

“My grandma had breast cancer and now has colon cancer. My grandpa died from lung cancer before I was born, and my cousin had leukemia when she was 16 until she went into remission at 19,” Isha said. “In our teenage years we are very influenced by others’ opinions of us, so I thought that must be really hard.”

Isha and Aisha founded their initiative as an outlet for the uncertainty of having a loved one with cancer. They wanted to have a positive influence.

“I was little when my grandpa was diagnosed with cancer, so I didn’t really know what was going on — it was just chaotic. But now that I’m older, I kind of feel helpless. He’s taking his treatments and everything, but I don’t know what else to do to help him,” Aisha said. “We both felt helpless, so doing this makes us feel better in our own ways.”

Club members make the bracelets by fishtail-braiding string and suede material. They also have a silver charm with the Charms for Champions logo, a crown, on the back. The club is selling string bracelets for $3 and the suede bracelets for $5.

“Our original idea was to make the bracelets and give them to cancer patients, but because of regulations, we couldn’t do that. So, we decided that we could keep the bracelet idea and donate the money to Comer Children’s Hospital,” Isha said.

Charms for Champions meets Mondays during lunch. Club members are working to make as many bracelets as possible to sell via Google Form, which they are planning to host by the end of the semester.