Everything You Need To Know From: “Change” For A Cure

*Disclaimer: It has recently come to our attention that Ashley Kirilow allegedly lied about having cancer and that her charity was a hoax. Youth Are Awesome does not support this behaviour, nor do we condone it. We support youth that are doing good things with good intentions. We have decided to leave this post up as an example of what not to do, and promote that it is possible for youth to accomplish great things, but only if they have good intentions.

Please see our new post for more information.

Recently I had the opportunity to talk to Ashley Kirilow, the founder of “Change” For a Cure (C4AC).  C4AC is an organization that encourages everyone to save the change they find – whether it be in their pockets, in the seat cushions, or on the sidewalk – in order to help find a cure for cancer.  The organization also holds various concerts and events to help fundraise, but I’ll let Ashley – who was inspired by the Skate4Cancer project and is even planning to walk across the country to raise funds for her cause –  tell you more about it 🙂

Youth Are Awesome: I have to ask, what is your favourite type of cheese?

Ashley Kirilow: Haha, I don’t really like cheese, but I like these things called “Cheese Balls”…the jalapeno one.  It’s this big ball of soft cheese you spread onto crackers.  Yum!

YAA: How did you decide where all of our saved “change” would be donated too?

A: Being a cancer patient myself, and struggling with finding a treatment that worked for my body and types of cancer I have [Ashley has breast, brain and stomach cancer], the search for a cure has always been my goal. Then I heard about DCA, a cancer fighting drug proven to help cure cancer 70% better then any chemo out there. I just had to help fund it.

YAA: Did you think this organization would take off as quickly as it did?

A: No way!! It has been up for maybe a month and a half and I’m ALMOST at 3000 supporters world wide, many of which have already started their “Change” jars!  Shirts sales have been through the roof and the amount of love and support “Change” For a Cure gets from people is crazy!

YAA: What was your inspiration for creating “Change” For a Cure?

A: Wanting to save lives and make a difference. I wanted to take my personal struggles and battles and turn them into something inspiring for others.

YAA: What are your future plans for “Change” For a Cure?

A: To keep doing what I’m doing; spreading the word on cancer awareness and prevention, and to get this drug, DCA, funded and available for cancer patients world wide.  We all deserve to live and if there’s a drug that improves helping to fight cancer, I will make it available.Map of Walk

YAA: How are you preparing to walk 3480km?

A: Well, right now I’m just mapping out my route and what cities I will be passing through, and I’m trying to get a C4AC team together to come along this amazing journey with me.  As the walk gets closer I will be working with a trainer to get me physically ready.  This isn’t something that should just be attempted, you need to make sure your body is fit enough to do it.  We don’t want any injuries. 🙂

YAA: What’s one thing you’re not going to be able to live without on your walk from Ontario to Alberta?

A: Hmmm, MY FRIENDS!!!  I’m going to miss them all!  My friends are my family.  I will miss hanging out and laughing with them, but it’s only for a few months. 🙂

YAA: What are you planning to do in the cities you stop in along your walk?

A: I plan on giving talks about cancer and prevention.  My biggest mistake when I got cancer was I had actually found a lump in my breast 1 year prior to me even getting it looked at.  I was young, 20 years old, I didn’t think I could even get cancer that young… I was wrong, and because I thought that way and didn’t get the lump in my breast looked at, it had almost a full year to spread in my body before I realized the lump was bigger, and I was sick. I need to get people (especially the teens and young adults) to know that cancer can hit you even at a young age, and to always check your body.

YAA: Why did you want to incorporate music events into the organization?

A: Music is a big social tool.  Everyone loves music.  It attracts a large group of people, especially youth, and my goal is to raise cancer awareness and prevention to people at young ages so they can change their lifestyle now before it’s too late.

YAA: What does your change jar look like? Piggy bank, glass jar or did you get creative?

A: My personal “Change” jar is actually a box right now, haha. It’s in a box that my “Build a Bear” came home in.

YAA: How can people donate?

A: Right now, the main thing people can donate is their support and help spread the word on “Change” For a Cure. But in the donations aspect, if they have started “Change” jars, they can come to an event and hang out and bring it, or just hang onto it and keep filling it, because I have a Paypal and website coming soon. So stay posted on “Change” For a Cure’s Facebook page for more details.


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  • Great interview. Do you know if she will be stopping in Calgary? It would be interesting to hear her talk about her experiences.

  • I'm not sure. But from her map it looks like she'll be heading north after Regina, I'll talk to her and let you know!

  • I just want to direct you to this blog post: http://jamiecounsell.tumblr.com/post/885821753/c4

    It details Ashley Kirilow and her fraudulent Change for a Cure charity. Also her fake claims of cancer. I hope you can remove this article to prevent anyone having further sympathy for this criminal. I also hope no one else will be conned into donating to her "charity" when every single penny has been going into her pocket.

    Thank you.

  • My boyfriend was diagnosed with cancer at the beginning of this year and this is by far the worst thing any one could ever fake. You are taking money away from people who actually need it, who may not have hope without it…and worst of all you are taking away support that you don't deserve to have.

    What a sad excuse for a human being you are Ashley.

  • she is a faker.. makes me want to puke losing both my parents of cancer and she is lying about having this illness.. as well as lying about her parents being dead oh wait they are not dead they disowned her. oh wait a minute she can not remember what lie she told about them.. hope she lives a very lonely life and gets thrown in jail where she belongs.. she is very smart to come up with a scam like this and pray off others emotions..

  • Every other young cancer victims who cries for help will now be subjected to scrutiny because of your actions.

  • Too bad this isn't true….hopefully some good will somehow come out of this. The girl needs serious help to get her head straight. Sad.

  • This is absolutely despicable! I have an aunt who is a breast cancer survivor, a grandmother who died of ovarian cancer, and another aunt who right now is fighting multiple myeloma. It is incredible to me that a young woman (or anyone!) could fake an illness that brings such pain to people. To fake that you are dying, when it is one of the most awful things you can go through with a loved one, she must not have a conscience at all. I feel almost sorry for her because she must be a sad, lonely, miserable person to do something like this. I hope she will pay for what she has done.

  • What a great story from a little Canadian girl who has gone through so much. Kids these days are so precious. Her parents must be so proud of her, and Im sure they will miss her greatly when she eventually succumbs to all the cancers that she has. or to one of them. I was very happy to make a donation today for this great cause. Keep up the great work Ashley!

  • Thomas Banks….did you seriously make a donation today? November 2, 2010??? You have been reading all the posts above yours right? Seen the news lately? She's a FRAUD!!!!

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