Combating Sarcoma in style

This article can be found published on the Southern Chester County Weeklies‘ website.
Eighth grader Eva Sheppard is trying to bring more public attention for Sarcoma. (Style for Sarcoma)

Eighth grader Eva Sheppard is trying to bring more public attention for Sarcoma. (Style for Sarcoma)

Creating an organization is a long, tedious process for anyone, but to do it at just 14 years old? That’s almost unheard of.

But Charles F. Patton eighth grader Eva Sheppard took the challenge head on when she started Style for Sarcoma after her aunt, AnaMarisa Velasco, was diagnosed with the type of cancer.

“When I was very young, my aunt was diagnosed with Sarcoma in her spine,” Sheppard said. “After several years of connecting with her again, we became very close and she was re-diagnosed with Stage 4 Sarcoma. It basically had traveled all through her body.

“I visited her last summer and saw what kind of stress she goes through by taking all these medications. I wanted to do something that would help her.”

Since both aunt and niece enjoy makeup, Sheppard ran with the idea and came up with an organization which offers makeup services in the form of classes or for a special event to anyone interested.

… [Please continue the story on the Southern Chester County Weeklies website by clicking here.]

After planning for two months, Sheppard officially launched Style for Sarcoma in January and will run the services, as of now, until June 1.

“It took a lot of time to plan it out and process it,” she said. “It was a lot of work, especially at the age of 14. It was a long process, but it all worked out.”

Though Sheppard hasn’t had any success in finding any corporate sponsorships from makeup companies, she hasn’t been deterred in the least bit.

In fact, she’s even taken a trip to New York City May 3 to present her organization to the board of the Sarcoma Foundation of America.

She was also contacted by Miss Cosmopolitan in New York, opening even more doors for her.

Sheppard hopes that by doing things like the conference and continuing to grow and expand the organization, it will help her gain more recognition with what she is trying to accomplish.

“I think that showing different companies my progress and what I’ve raised so far will hopefully get me endorsements along the way,” she said.

For now, she will continue to hold her classes and event sessions for anyone over the age of 11 at very reasonable prices.

Where else can you go and have full makeup done along with a simple hairstyle for a mere $20?

On top of that, she will also be hosting a Master Class Dance Day on May 10 for only $5.

“I’m doing these little events throughout my school and different areas,” Sheppard said.

Her idea throughout the fundraising and makeup sessions for Sheppard has been to not only raise money for Sarcoma research, but also help make people feel beautiful in the process.

For being just 14, she’s accomplishing everything she wanted and surprising herself and everyone else around her.

“We’ve gotten a lot of donations, especially online on the website,” Sheppard said. “A lot of people are wanting to get makeup and photoshoots done. I’m really happy to where this is leading.”

The original goal was set at $1,000 when Sheppard first started in February, but she rocketed past that figure in no time.

“I wasn’t really expecting much,” she said. “We’ve actually raised over $3,000 already, which is more than I ever expected in just a couple months. It’s been really awesome.”

Though the makeup session portion may come to an end in a month, it doesn’t mean Style for Sarcoma will be ending as well.

“I’m hoping, in the next couple of years, to travel around and tell other people about this cause,” she said. “This is just the beginning. I’m excited to see what happens in the future.”

At the rate she is already going, the sky is the limit for Sheppard as she fights for her aunt and so many others in the world battling Sarcoma.

“Being 14, people usually don’t expect you’re going to do a lot, especially for other people,” she said. “A lot of people at 14 are self-centered and just figuring out how to handle life. Being able to put myself out there for my aunt and other people and actually raise money for 10,000 others makes me feel better about myself.”

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