COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Throughout the month of March, we are highlighting the finalists for our NBC4 Remarkable Woman award. These women make great contributions each and every day to our local communities.
As the executive director for NC4K, No Kid Fights Cancer Alone, Mandy Powell works tirelessly to help families impacted by pediatric cancer and she manages to bring hope even on the darkest of days.
“We are a family, we are a community, we are all about small moments making a big impact,” expressed Powell.
A big impact on families facing a childhood cancer diagnosis and Powell is the woman behind the mission.
“A pediatric cancer diagnosis is isolating, scary, and hard when we are not in a pandemic,” stated Powell. “You layer in the challenges of a pandemic, and we gotta show up even more, even stronger.”
Even stronger for 600 families around the state who turn to them, and they’ve done it virtually and by car.
“We just have the families drive-thru and pick up all of the goodies maybe some treats at the end it really is this uplifting experience,” explained Powell.
But they go much further by providing a safety net during what is most often a financial crisis.
“Their mortgage, their rent bill, their utility bills, their groceries,” listed Powell. “We saw about a 34 percent increase from 2019 to 2020 in just the amount of funds that we were able to distribute.”
NC4K spends $8,000 to $10,000 on families each month.
Powell’s every day is packed; meetings with community partners, social workers, and families. The hours – too many to count.
“That would be a scary number to count,” related Powell. “Um… you know, I think this work happens all of the time.”
As a wife and mom of two, Powell is the definition of doing it all. As both kids learn virtually they’re also learning life lessons from mom.
“What’s really cool is they get to know the why,” Powell shared.
The lesson is both beautiful and painful.
“I think about my daughter who is 14 and through this, she was able to make friends,” said Powell. “We lost one of her friends, one of our heroes, in December of 2019 and that rocked our world and it catapults action.”
Waking up on Sundays to send e-mails or staying up late to raise money is not always ideal.
“But I see our heroes in my mind and I see the friendships and I see the bonds and it’s worth it, it’s all worth it,” reflected Powell.
Mandy is our fourth and final woman being considered for Nexstar’s nationwide 2021 Woman of the Year award.