Midlands teen battles cancer and brightens lives

      COLUMBIA (WACH)-What could you accomplish if given a little encouragment? How about overcoming cancer? Brightening the lives of thousands?

      Helen Clay can answer yes to both.

      At 11 years-old Helen was diagnosed with cancer and underwent a nine hour life saving surgery.

      While in the hospital Halen remembers a young boy bringing her toys and how much joy they brought her while she was fighting for her life.

      In early 2010, Helen established the Helenâ??s Hugs fund with a goal of building teddy bears year-round for children at the Palmetto Health Childrenâ??s Hospital in Columbia.

      Since then, Helen has raised almost $27,000 from family, friends and local businesses, allowing her to build more than 1,000 bears. These bears have been delivered to patients of the Childrenâ??s Hospital

      Helen Clay is currently a junior, attends Heathwood Episcopal School and is on the Talk About Giving Advisory Board.

      She has received numerous awards for her generosity, including a Best of Philanthropy Award from Central Carolina Community Foundation and the Prudential Spirit of Community Award.