Hearing the words “You’ve got cancer” is a hard pill to swallow for anyone, but when those words are said to the parents of a two-year-old, hope is all they have to hold on to.

Today, that two-year-old is 13, a teenager, who is bringing hope to other teens with cancer as she creates one-of-a-kind bracelets to sell and raise money for Cancer Care in Manitoba.

Mikayla Wolfe was a young girl when she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, which is a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow. The word ‘acute’ comes from the fact that the disease progresses rapidly. This type of cancer is most common in children and with treatments, results in a good chance for a cure.

And so it is with Mikayla, who battled cancer for about three years and is now cancer-free. 

As to what happened during her treatments, Mikayla doesn’t recall much of what was going on. “But I do remember walking through the halls with my mom and holding onto that IV thing. I also remember getting popsicles a lot,” she says with a smile. 

Linda Szyszkowski, the school counsellor at Clearspring Middle School in Steinbach shares where making “Bracelets for Hope” began.

“So, Mikayla came in and we were making a bracelet together and we started talking a little bit about cancer.”

The teenager quickly interjects “Like, I told her that I had cancer when I was younger and then we were making bracelets and we decided to sell the bracelets to raise money to buy books and toys for teens undergoing cancer treatments.”

Linda shares her pride in this young lady. “This is incredible when we have students who want to share this kind of kindness with the world and with the community. It's amazing to see how Mikayla was able to gather her friends together and create “Bracelets for Hope”. This is something that's never been done before (in our school) and to be able to start something new, it's such a motivation to see how younger adults, rather, soon-to-be-adults and teens be able to make these decisions, to really push forward to new levels.”

Mikayla says there has been a really good response to her bracelets. “A lot of people have been wanting to buy bracelets already, like ever since they saw the first one. And they’ve wanted to help out and I guess she (Linda) told me that some of the kids want to meet us.” Mikayla isn’t really sure about the ‘super-star’ status.

The school counsellor says that Mikayla has been an inspiration to a lot of people. Some are even coming to the school wanting to make donations toward the bracelets or just dropping off cash for the cause or saying “keep the change” after purchasing a bracelet.

Mikayla and her friends have been having a lot of fun making the jewelry. Though there have been sleepless nights and a lot of laughter, she says the real reason they are doing this, recalling her time in the Cancer Care Ward, "is that I noticed when I was in the hospital, there weren't very many toys and books for teens. There was a lot for kids like, there's a play area for kids, but not for teens.”

Initially, Mikayla set a goal to sell all the bracelets and raise $1,000 for toys and books for teens undergoing cancer treatments, but at the end of the day, Tuesday, they had sold out of bracelets and had raised $2008.95.