BALTIMORE — It’s a day 18-year-old Brayden Wise won’t soon forget.
Surrounded by his soccer teammates and school leaders from Archbishop Curley, and members of the non-profit Kelly’s Dream, Wise helped unveil new sunscreen dispensers that will become fixtures at the school’s athletic fields.
Wise’s hard work helped secure the funding for the new dispensers, which are among the first to be installed at a school in the Baltimore area.
“I wanted to have sunscreen available to everybody for in times when people don't have it and the weather changes unexpectedly,” he said.
Wise is a soccer player at Archbishop Curley High School and knows the dangers of being exposed to the sun for too long. He said it was part of his inspiration to choose Kelly’s Dream to work with for his senior project.
Kelly’s Dream was started in 2009 by Kelly O’Donnell Ware, who was battling late-stage melanoma for the second time when she decided to start the non-profit.
“I felt like I needed to do something, either with the idea of leaving a legacy or wanting to give back to the community,” she said.
Ware beat her second round with cancer and quickly grew Kelly’s Dream to become an educational force in teaching people young and old about the dangers of the sun and how to prevent skin cancer.
When Wise asked to join her for his senior project, she was thrilled to have him on board. He sat with cancer patients getting infusions and helped hand out Thanksgiving meals to people in need.
“And he had this great idea, let's see if we can't get sunscreen dispensers put in my school,” she said.
With Ware’s guidance, Wise came up with a proposal and pitched it to a local business. He said he walked into the meeting hoping for funding for two sunscreen dispensers.
“But at the end they wrote the check for four, so it was very surprising and it was very good,” he said.
One dispenser will be placed in the locker room at Archbishop Curley. The other three will be near the football and baseball fields.
This project is extra meaningful to Wise because his mom was also diagnosed with skin cancer.
“It made me look at life a different way because even though it wasn't that serious it was still serious,” he said. “That's my mom and I love her.”
Wise is off to college in the fall but he plans to continue working with Kelly’s Dream and has recruited some teammates to help him get more dispensers at schools and parks.
“Even though I know it's not the biggest thing, it still something that can help prevent skin cancer and it could eventually save someone's life.”