RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- 15 years after a University of Nevada, Reno student survived pediatric cancer, she's working to help the organization that supported her family during her fight.
"One of the nurses came in and he gave me a teddy bear and told me I could take the teddy bear into surgery and it would keep me safe," Lacey Butler said. 15 years later Butler still has her teddy bear - a symbol of how she beat pediatric cancer.
Butler is a junior at the university, working toward a career in pediatric oncology. In the mean time, she's using her experience as a survivor to help raise money for cancer research through Relay for Life.
At 18 months old she was diagnosed with an optic glioma, a brain tumor that affects the eyes.
"I started chemo a week after my second birthday and went through 18 months of chemo," Butler said. "I had brain surgery at five years old, and I've been cancer free since then."
She doesn't remember much about her fight, but she knows the American Cancer Society helped her family, so now she's helping them.
"They've just been such a big help in my life so I want to do something really big to give back," Butler said.
She has set a pretty lofty goal.
"If I can raise $10 thousand to donate to the cancer society, I'll shave my head," Butler said.
Butler will donate her hair to Locks of Love to help other girls fighting cancer.
She has a special surprise for her biggest supporter.
"Whoever donates the most money will get to cut my hair and shave my head," Butler said.
She's nervous, but it's something she can't wait to see through.
"It means more than I can even explain," Butler said. "Using what I've been through to help others is the best way to give back that I can even imagine."
Butler has just less than five months to raise the money.
If you'd like to donate in honor of Lacey Butler and help her reach her $10 thousand goal, click here
The University of Nevada, Reno will be having a kick off event for Relay for Life on November 21. News 4 will post more details on that as soon as they're set.