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Cancer Center's Tree Grows, Thanks to Hillsborough Teen

Stephen Wurst launched Steeplechase Cancer Center's Christmas tree fundraiser in memory of his mother.

Stephen Wurst, 15, of Hillsborough, is remembering his mother, Laurie Parlin, in a special way this holiday season with the third annual Hope and Remembrance Tree fundraiser for Somerset Medical Center’s Steeplechase Cancer Center in Somerville.

Parlin died of breast cancer in August 2009. Since then, Stephen has helped raised more than $60,000 to help patients at The Steeplechase Cancer Center through “Laurie’s Legacy,” a special fundraising initiative he created.         

Wurst hopes to raise $5,000 through this year’s Hope and Remembrance Tree, which is on display in The Steeplechase Cancer Center lobby throughout the month of December. For each donation received, an ornament is added to the tree. Donations can be made in honor or in memory of a loved one, with options ranging from $5 to add a silver star or ball to the tree to $100 for a silver “Hope” ornament. 

A special tree lighting ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 11 at the cancer center.

In a letter to family and friends asking for their support of the fundraiser, Stephen noted that the cancer center supported his mother when she was sick and couldn’t work anymore and he wants to help others who face a similar situation.

“Remember…if we all donate a little, we can help a lot of people,” he said.

For more information about Laurie’s Legacy or to make a donation, call Somerset Medical Center Foundation at 908-685-2885 or visit www.smcfoundation.com. Donations to the Hope and Remembrance Tree will also be accepted at The Steeplechase Cancer Center.

Submitted by Kathleen Roberts

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