Going Gold: Annual District-Wide Childhood Cancer Awareness Tradition Continues

Sept. 20, 2021 - Students, teachers and families throughout Comal ISD will continue a tradition of shining a light on Childhood Cancer Awareness during the month of September. This year’s Going Gold campaign includes a “Wear Gold for Childhood Cancer Awareness” day on Thursday, Sept. 23.

In an effort to bring awareness to pediatric cancer, which is the leading cause of death by disease for children under 14, the district will share stories from families and students who are living with a cancer diagnosis along with ways to help.

Two students who lost their battles are remembered annually during this month. Rachael Chaffin passed away in April of 2015, and Justin Easterling passed away in 2016. Chaffin who attended Arlon Seay Elementary and Spring Branch Middle School started a research fund with St. Baldrick’s Foundation which continues to grow. More news about her legacy will be shared this month.

Easterling was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2015, a day after he completed the fifth grade at Kinder Ranch Elementary where his mother, Keiba Easterling, teaches. His passion was making movies, and he dreamed of being a film producer and animator.

With his ready smile, Justin remained positive throughout his fight, and his mother encourages other parents whose child receives a cancer diagnosis to do the same. “Never give up hope,” she says. “Just don’t.”

This year, the district would like to honor Abby Owens as well. Owens, 18, passed away in May after a brief illness. Diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2006 at the age of 3, she relapsed in 2019 and underwent a bone marrow transplant. She attended Freiheit Elementary, Church Hill Middle School and Canyon High School. She loved her teachers and friends along with puzzles, horseback riding, music and art. Students and staff at CHS hosted a “Going Gold Pep Rally” for Owens last year and wore t-shirts supporting her.

Owens, Chaffin and Easterling will always be a part of Comal ISD’s annual Going Gold campaign, letting their legacies inspire generations to come.

Share "Wear Gold" day photos #CISDGoesGold.




-Abby Owens

-Rachael Chaffin

-Justin Easterling



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