Charter tags vehicles for cancer foundation

I wanted to live to be.

And, I am spending my time on earth before death

Living, rather than dying,

And not wasting a moment

Of the precious gifts

Of time and

Of life and

Of being, for now.

- Mattie J.T. Stepanek, "About Living (Part III)"

DULUTH - Charter Communications is taking the fight against childhood cancer to the streets.

The cable operator has put Joanna McAfee Childhood Cancer Foundation specialty tags on its 339 service vehicles in Georgia, said Antoinette Carpenter, sales and marketing director for Georgia and Alabama.

Each vehicle tag generates $10 for the foundation, which raises awareness about childhood cancer, provides support for families and funds research.

"We're going to make this a success," Carpenter. "By tagging all of our vehicles ... you'll be able to spread the awareness because you're out there proudly representing Joanna wherever you go."

The image on the specialty tag of a girl lifting her arms to the sky was derived from a photo of Joanna, who died in 2005 after a battle with rhabdomyosarcoma, or a fast-growing tumor, said her father, Jeff McAfee. The picture was taken after Joanna, suffering from the adverse affects of chemotherapy and radiation, climbed to the top of a hill with her brother's help.

"It's a powerful image," McAfee, the founder of the Joanna McAfee Childhood Cancer Foundation, said. "It represents not only the strength and determination of Joanna but the strength and determination of every child suffering today and the strength and determination of every child we have lost and every child we'll continue to lose until we find a cure for this terrible disease."

Since the foundation was established three years ago, it has raised $300,000, half of which has gone toward research of childhood cancer, McAfee said. The specialty tags have raised more than $47,000 in recurring income to help support the foundation's mission.

Charter Communications presented a $3,390 check to McAfee at the "Tagging for the Cause" event Thursday at the Arena at Gwinnett Center.