DUBLIN, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Debra Ware calls herself a single soldier in a large battle for a cure. Her weapon of choice is a nicely worn multicolored Buick.
Ware drives a car hand painted with over a hundred names of her "warriors, princesses and angels who lost their battle". Together, she believes they will find a cure to childhood cancer.
"Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children under the age of 15," Ware said.
Ware shaves her head once of year, to raise money for childhood cancers. This past month, she took her mission a step further and requested Dublin's mayor to recognize September as Childhood Cancer Awareness month.
"Last year in the middle of September there was pink everywhere and it just really boiled my blood. What about the children?" Ware said.
She admits she hasn't always been a warrior for the kids. The former medical technologist has worked with children battling cancer for over 30 years. After a while, working with the kids turned into another day's work. That is until she learned about Max. Max Nunn was a boy in Michigan battling a rare form of brain cancer. Nunn's parents were very vocal about his battle with the disease, the good, the bad and the ugly.
"Nausea, the chemo, hair falling out, you don't think of kids like that," Ware said.
When Max lost his battle for cancer, Ware knew something had to be done.
"Max unfortunately died at the age of seven on Thanksgiving Day and there are many Maxes that will die everyday," Ware said.
So in honor of Max and the many children worldwide who suffer from cancer, Ware decided to decorate her car. What started out as a small project with just a few local children has grown into a rolling mural with the names of children from all over the world. Parents reach out to Ware online requesting their kids names be added to her car. Every time a person stops and stares, she says she hopes she's raising awareness.
"I will go into a store and I will come out and there will be people reading the names. Some will walk up and shake their head and say thank you. They will walk away with tears in their eyes," said Ware.
Ware says she's not sure what brought her to this place, God, her job, she doesn't really know. But she says, it's the least she can do, someone has to fight for the kids. Until more research and funding is provided, Ware says she will continue to ride the streets until the wheels fall off.