Senior Callan Kreidel refuses to let her recent cancer diagnosis weaken her faith in God’s plan and protection.
Beloved and known by many faculty and students, the Samford community is joining Callan in her fight against cancer in the coming months. This week, The Samford Crimson got the chance to learn about the new #CallanCan campaign from Kaitlin Hehir.
As a sophomore JMC major, Hehir utilized her Public Relations position in Phi Mu to begin the #CallanCan campaign across campus. Through this platform, Hehir hopes to raise awareness, support and prayer for Kreidel and her family.
When describing Kreidel’s story and cancer diagnosis, Hehir said, “Callan can beat this, and in the end Callan will beat this.”
In the past few weeks, doctors discovered tumors on Kreidel’s chest and spinal cord and diagnosed them as cancerous. On April 12, Kreidel underwent surgery to determine the type and extent of the cancer and is currently at Vanderbilt Hospital receiving chemotherapy.
In a time that most people would consider overwhelming and crushing, Kreidel and her family have remained calm and positive in God’s plan.
Undergoing chemotherapy and treatment will be a long process, but Hehir has no doubt that Callan’s positive attitude and faith will provide her strength each day.
“She’s an incredible girl and I’m so genuinely proud to be by her side through this,” said Hehir.
After hearing about her sorority sister facing cancer, Hehir felt called to lead a campaign that would soon be named #CallanCan. Holding the position of Public Relations Chair in Phi Mu gave her “the confidence to start something like this, (through) knowing that I had a platform and I had a group of girls behind me to support me,” Hehir said.
By selling bracelets and receiving donations through its GoFundMe and Venmo accounts, the #CallanCan campaign aims to raise $250,000 for the Kreidel family. Hehir has no doubt that the Samford community will rise to the challenge in this effort to raise funds and cancer awareness.
Beginning April 22 in the Ben Brown Plaza, students began selling teal-colored bracelets imprinted with CallanCan and the Bible verse Job 1:21.
These simple bracelets combine Kreidel’s favorite color and verse that reads, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked will I depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised,” Job 1:21.
All the proceeds from these $5 CallanCan bracelets will go directly to her family. “CallanCan,” said Hehir, “is a simple statement that will catch on and go a long way. It will be a tangible way to let her know that there is an army surrounding her.”
The campus-wide response to the #CallanCan campaign has already exceeded expectations and support.
“(The response) just goes to show what kind of school this is and the caliber of people that are here,” said Hehir. “People hear something, and instead of brushing it aside they invest themselves in it.”
Students and faculty wanting to support the Kreidel family beyond the bracelets are asked to pray, and if led, donate to CallanCan through its GoFundMe or Venmo accounts. Additionally, support for Phi Mu’s Relay for Life fundraiser in Ben Brown this week will go toward Kreidel and her family.
Carol Graffeo, Features Writer
[photo courtesy of Kaitlin Hehir]