Since 2015, 10-year-old guitarist Aeshaan Singhal, a fourth grader at Don Callejon Elementary School, Santa Clara, and his friends have participated in fund-raising talent shows benefitting the Pediatric Cancer Research Fund at Stanford University.
The 2019 Bye-Bye Cancer Talent Show outdoors at Santana Row, San Jose, noon to 2 p.m., June 2, has so far raised $2,400. Visit tinyurl.com/goawaykidscancer to raise the total.
“Every year, we are honored to see so many talented kids show their support for the patients at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital who are battling cancer,” said Anne Marie Angeles, Community Relations Assistant at Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health. “We are so grateful for champions like Aeshaan, who make a difference through their generosity.”
Past talent shows have raised over $6,000. The money helps internationally-recognized researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine discover new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat childhood cancer.
The American Cancer Society says that after accidents, cancer is the second-leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 14 in the U.S.
About 20 talented kids from Santa Clara and a few from nearby cities entertained shoppers and diners enjoying the sunny-day ambiance in the square outside Maggiano’s Little Italy restaurant. They played guitar, keyboard and drums. They sang, danced and performed martial arts.
Avi Kumar (9), from Milpitas, has a black belt in Taekwando and used his hands and feet to chop blocks held by his dad.
“I’m trying to make a change for everyone in the hospital who has cancer so that they can leave the hospital and live normal lives,” said Kumar.
Sisters Niya (8) and Ninya (11) Udinoor, students at Milliken Elementary School, Santa Clara, once again choreographed and performed a dance routine fusing gymnastics and classical Indian dance.
“I feel empathy and I’m proud that I’m doing this for kids with cancer,” said Aditya Baheti (11), who did a comedy routine with guitar.
Shazneen Wadud (10) sang “Find You on My Knees,” a song about how God is going to be there whenever you need support. She has a friend who was successfully treated for cancer at Packard Children’s Hospital.
“I feel proud that me and a lot of kids are stepping up to help people with cancer,” said Aeshaan Singhal, who closed the talent show with the classical guitar piece “Sueño.”
“Every day we run with our lives and busy schedule, and we really can’t contribute much,” said Avi Kumar’s mom, Alpa Kumar. “But in events like this, we can contribute with our son’s performance and monetarily.”
Aeshaan Singhal’s mom, Garima Agarwal, and his dad, Abhishek Singhal, are the driving force behind the annual concerts. They wanted to teach their son that even at a young age, he could be a force for positive change in the lives of those less fortunate than he.
At the concert’s end, Agarwal thanked parents for helping with the talent show, preparing their children to perform and making donations. She thanked volunteers from Kohl’s Department Store, which contributed $500.
“And…I would not be doing justice if I did not thank all of our little performers with much, much bigger hearts, who have donated their time and talent selflessly and shown the passion to help others,” said Agarwal.
For the first time, a Bye-Bye Cancer Talent Show will also be held in Palo Alto, giving additional young performers the opportunity to help others through their talents. It takes place August 25, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Stanford Shopping Center.