May 11, 2010; Source: Detroit Free Press | Need some inspiration? Then take heart in Christoph Bartschat’s story. Instead of being defeated by a 2007 diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the 13-year-old Michigan youth launched a fundraising effort, starting with lemonade sales that netted $200, and then, with his parents, founded his own charity that has brought in more than $81,000 to support patients and to aid research into childhood cancer.

The Detroit Free Press reports Children’s Hospital of Michigan alone received more than $30,000 from Christoph’s ALL Stars to support cancer research, renovations to a hematology/oncology clinic and provide books and DVDs for cancer patients. Describing his actions, Bartschat says, “I just want people to know that it’s a need, and everything helps.”

Bartschat’s heartfelt work hasn’t gone unnoticed. He is one of 75 semifinalists from around the nation Canada nominated for a Huggable Heroes Award from Build-A-Bear Workshop. Ten winners will be announced in June, and if he is one, Bartschat will receive a $7,500 scholarship, $2,500 to donate to a charity he chooses, and a trip to Build-A-Bear’s headquarters in St. Louis.

As for his prognosis, Christoph’s mother says her son’s cancer is manageable, but he’ll be on a chemotherapy regimen for the next three years or longer.—Bruce Trachtenberg