Roslyn 10-year-old raises $3K for breast cancer awareness

Roslyn 10-year-old raises $3K for breast cancer awareness
Max Levine, the founder of Max Out For Pink, pictured alongside his Roslyn Bulldog sticker he sold. Since last year, he has raised over $5,000 for breast cancer awareness. (Photos courtesy of Max Lavine)

Max Lavine, 10, of Roslyn, didn’t realize the severity of his mother’s breast cancer diagnosis when first told in July 2020. But once he did, he wanted to help in any way he could.

“Once she got her surgeries, I would do chores around the house for her,” he said. “I would help her with errands and laundry. It was definitely a hard time.”

Hilary, Max’s mother, underwent her third and final procedure in November 2021. But Max’s motivation to assist had already expanded beyond his house.

Months earlier, in September, he decided to sell pink helmet stickers with the Roslyn High School bulldog logo. Only intended for his lacrosse team, he said the idea quickly garnered attention. By the time October was over, he had raised $2,000, which he donated to the Breast Cancer Initiative Fund at Northwell Health.

Now, for the second year in a row, Max will give Northwell Health a check — this time for nearly $3,300 — after selling tennis racket dampeners.

“I wanted to help others because it was just about a year past my mother’s diagnosis,” he said on starting Max Out For Pink. “I really wanted to just celebrate, but at the same time help others going through it.”

The tennis racket dampeners are a tribute to the sport Max and his mother could not play together for years because of her diagnosis. (While Max said his mother is an excellent player, Hilary admitted Max is now better than she is.)

Max has run and promoted the project on his own. He said thanks to positive responses, it was successful enough to bring it back for 2022.

“It was just incredible that it was such a negative part of our life that he turns into a positive,” said Hilary. “I think that’s a good message for people to know: that even when things are bad, there are always good things that can come about from bad things.”

Breast cancer affects approximately 264,000 women and 2,400 men in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 42,000 women and 500 men die from it yearly.

The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends women aged 50 to 74 who are at average risk of breast cancer get a mammogram every two years. They also recommend women aged 40 to 49 consult with their healthcare provider about when and how often to get a mammogram.

Mammography is a breast examination using low-energy X-rays for diagnosis and screening. The American Cancer Society notes that when breast cancer is detected early and in a localized stage, the five-year relative survival rate is 99%.

Hilary was 39 at the time of her diagnosis. She said that she had only gotten tested because her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer the year before.

“I was lucky enough to catch it early and I didn’t cancel my appointment, even though we had COVID-19, which was the amazing thing,” she said. “I almost canceled my appointment because I didn’t want to go to the doctor. And thank God I didn’t because I caught it early enough.”

Now, two years in, Max has raised over $5,000. He said he has no reason or plans to stop his work now.

“It’s crazy to think that if I didn’t do it this year, then none of this would have happened,” he said. “But I’ve spread so much more awareness and raised so much more money than I did last year. And next year, I’ll look forward to doing it again and again and again until I feel like I’m satisfied with my work, which will never happen.”

Max wouldn’t say what he plans to do next year, but he hinted it will have something to do with cell phones. (He clarified he will not be selling cell phones.)

In the meantime, he encourages donations to any breast cancer charity of one’s choice. He also pleaded with those facing tough challenges to never give up.

“Don’t ever think to yourself that you can’t do something to help others with something that you hated,” he said. “I hated what my mom had to go through. So I wanted to help others so that it’s easier for them to get through it than it was with us. Because in life that will happen, but you have to conquer it and make it better.”

Max plans to donate a check to Northwell Health this week.

One can make donations to Max Out For Pink to help fund next year’s project by visiting @maxout_for_pink on Instagram, donating to @Maxoutforpink on Venmo or emailing [email protected].



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