The History of Colleges Against Cancer

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The History of Colleges Against Cancer Powered By Docstoc
					                        The History of
                   Colleges Against Cancer
In 2001 three college freshman friends came together to discuss
the challenges many youth volunteers of the American Cancer
Society were facing. Students across the country were passionate
about fighting cancer. They wanted to bring students from their
college campuses together to plan a Relay For Life event, and
possibly even more. Time and time again students faced the same
challenges with starting a Relay For Life on their campuses.

At the first National Relay For Life Youth Summit held in March
2001, those three students, Rich Bajner and Jeff Ceretto,
students at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and
Amy Garrison, a student at Northern Illinois University, decided
that forming a network of college students would be an ideal
solution. Once students from across the country were in
contact, they could share ideas, solutions to challenges, an d
collaborate with each other. As the summit concluded on Sunday
afternoon, Rich, Jeff, and Amy stood on stage and proposed the
idea to the attendees. The response was overwhelming: Rich,
Jeff, and Amy collected many other students’ contact information
and ensured the students that they would do everything possible
to make their idea a reality.

As Rich, Jeff, and Amy gathered thoughts on how to best bring
the mission of the American Cancer Society to college campuses,
four areas of priority quickly became apparent: advocacy, cancer
education, Relay For Life, and survivorship. These directions
would allow students to bring American Cancer Society programs
and services to college communities while increasing awareness
of the causes, preventions, and effects of cancer. With a rough
outline of the potential youth program, the three students
proposed the idea to Dr. John Seffrin, American Cancer Society
Chief Executive Officer. The American Cancer Society agreed
that this program would be invaluable to its youth volunteers.

With new support from the American Cancer Society, Rich, Jeff,
and Amy worked incessantly to determine details of the program
such as the structure, title, communication paths, and
resources. It was decided that the program would be advised
nationally by a team of college student volunteers. With
Colleges Against Cancer newly formed, the first Colleges Against
Canceer National Leadership Team was created: Rich Bajner
(Advocacy Chair), Jeff Ceretto (Cancer Education Chair), Amy
Garrison (Relay For Life Chair) and Kim DeOnofrio (Survivorship
Chair). Kim was recruited as the first National Leadership T eam

Survivorship Chair due to her strong volunteer efforts and
enthusiasm in the new program. She also brought a new
perspective to the team -- Kim was a survivor of ovarian cancer
and undergoing treatment while attending college.

In March 2003 at the age of 20, Kim lost her fight to cancer,
reminding Colleges Against Cancer volunteers of the reasons we
fight this disease and increasing the passion of Colleges
Against Cancer in college communities across the country.

Colleges Against Cancer rapidly expanded throughout the nation.
In September 2001 there were four chapters of Colleges Against
Cancer, and by September 2004 there were approximately 75
chapters. By May 2005 there were approximately 140 chapters.
Many resources were developed to support Colleges Against Cancer
Chapters’ efforts: the national Colleges Against Cancer
Newsletter, monthly conference calls, the Colleges Against
Cancer Chapter Guidebook, and the Colleges Against Cancer Online
Community. In November 2004, Colleges Against Cancer volunteers
attended the first Colleges Against Cancer Youth Summit.

The Colleges Against Cancer program was created by college
students and continues because of them. College students on many
campuses now play an active role in distributing cancer
education and prevention materials, providing support to cancer
survivors and caretakers, fighting for legislation to pr otect
cancer patients, and raising millions of dollars for the
American Cancer Society. This program has proven that college
students care about cancer and will continue the fight until
there is a cure for this disease.


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