HUNTERSVILLE – Taylor Lanier’s senior project became her opportunity to make a difference in the life of a child who has cancer.

Lanier, a Huntersville resident and senior at Cato Middle College High School in Charlotte, is inviting the community to help her grant one child’s wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation by raising $6,000.

It’s one aspect of her project, which focuses on the foundation and began when she wrote a paper her junior year on the negative effects of chemotherapy on children who have acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

For the paper, she interviewed a family whose son battled ALL and visited Disney World with the foundation’s help. To see how the trip encouraged them sparked Lanier’s interest to grant another child their wish.

Lanier’s desire to help those with cancer stems from her family’s history. With her grandfather dying of cancer when she was young and her grandmother diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago, her family has been involved with Relay for Life for several years.

For the past three summers, Lanier has also volunteered her time in the oncology department and NICU at Living Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, which fueled her passion to help children.

“They’ve been put in a situation that wasn’t their choice, and they can’t really change it,” she said. “If I can just make their lives a bit better, even for a few minutes, it just makes my day.”

With nearly $900 raised, Lanier said she expects to continue collecting money past the April 4 project deadline and into July, at which point she’ll turn 18 and be able to become a wish granter through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The focus of her project is the focus of her future. Lanier plans to pursue a nursing degree and work at St. Jude’s Hospital.

Ultimately, the money being raised for Make-A-Wish isn’t about her or her school, Lanier said. It’s about helping a child fight a difficult battle and supporting the family.