Teen battles cancer, raises funds

Erin's "Concert for a Cure" will be held on Saturday at Bloomsbury Farm

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Erin Kuba just started her sophomore year at Jefferson High School. But she has more on her mind than new classes, teachers and homework.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the 15-year-old underwent her second round of treatment at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital for thyroid cancer. She was diagnosed in 2012 and spent last summer undergoing treatment.

“We pray every day that after this round there will be no detection of cancer,” said her mother, Tammi Kuba.

But Erin is not just worried about her own health. She wants to do something to help others dealing with cancer.

“Spending many days down at the U of I Hospital was a constant reminder of how many kids and adults are battling this horrible disease,” Erin said.

She saw a 9-month-old baby get ready for her third brain surgery, a 7-year-old boy with an amputated leg to prevent cancer from spreading and learned a friend had died. It was hard to understand.”

Tammi Kuba says Erin has long been a giving and thoughtful girl, coming up with a charitable act or donation every year on her birthday since she was in kindergarten.

After a conversation about why cancer happens to kids, Erin decided how she’d give back for her next birthday.

“This year I will be celebrating my 16th birthday, and instead of a big birthday party with gifts, I came up with an idea to organize a concert to raise money to help support children’s cancer and research,” Erin said. “It’s the biggest thing I’ve done so far.”

Erin’s Concert for a Cure will be held on Saturday at Bloomsbury Farm. Country band Lonesome Road will play at 7 p.m. There will be an auction and family activities. The event runs from 4 to 10 p.m. Admission is $20.

Erin has three goals for the event: increase awareness about the importance of early screening/detection; raise money to support others battling cancer; and inspire others to do something.

“The amazing thing about Erin is that she has not let her cancer beat her,” Tammi Kuba said. “She has shown amazing strength and worked very hard to prove that she can still be a competitive athlete, strong student, and still find ways to help others.”

“I have learned a lot about myself and that I am stronger than I ever could have imagined,” Erin said.

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