Fifth-Grade Cancer Survivor Gets Hoosier Rising Star Award

Parker's organization has distributed about 800 bags in just three years.

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Photo: Sara Wittmeyer

Lt. Governor Becky Skillman bestowed the Hoosier Rising Star Award on Tatum Parker Wednesday.

Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman honored a ten-year-old cancer survivor Wednesday for her work with other young cancer patients across the state.

Tatum Parker is an Indianapolis fifth-grader who has already beaten cancer twice. When she was six, she received a bag from charity full of games and activities to use during her hospital stays. Wanting to help other kids the same way, Parker founded the Tatum’s Bag of Fun Foundation, which provides backpacks of toys and games worth more than $300 to children in Indiana with cancer.

Parker said she often gives the backpacks out herself.  “It is an amazing thing to be able to do this foundation,” she said, “to be able to give out bags to kids and to see the smile on their faces once they get them.”

Parker’s organization has distributed about 800 bags in just three years. Lieutenant Governor Skillman presented Parker with a Hoosier Rising Star Award. The honor is given out annually to young people who are making a difference in their communities.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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