Ayla Charness, a senior-to-be at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, won the 2018 Catch It In Time Cancer Awareness Video Challenge.

Charness won the Executive Director award ‘for excellence in raising awareness about cancer and the importance of early detection.’ She wrote, produced, directed and narrated the story of her mother’s best friend and college roommate who caught her breast cancer at age 24, was aggressively treated and has been cancer free for nearly three decades.

“I really wanted to help people fully understand the importance of early detection of health issues and regular doctor visits,” said Charness, who has Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)–a blood disorder as well as an immune deficiency. “I got the word about winning the award when I was at one of my regular hospital treatments. It was so exciting because this was something that I worked really hard on and was very important to me.”

Watch her winning video submission and share it with your family and friends–and be sure to stay tuned for information about the next Video Challenge!