The amount of people who have been affected by cancer is unimaginable. As a college student, sometimes we feel as if there is nothing we can do to make a difference in the mass amount of people’s lives who have been affected by this terrible disease. CHICago Style sat down with Madeline Lewis, the president of Colleges Against Cancer and had the opportunity to hear about this amazing organization and how YOU can get involved and make a difference!
CHICago Style: What is Colleges Against Cancer?
Madeline Lewis: Colleges Against Cancer is the organization on campus that is responsible for planning and hosting Relay for Life at Loyola University Chicago. Relay for Life is an American Cancer Society’s nationwide fundraiser for cancer research. Throughout the year, CAC plans events, fundraisers, and tabling in the student center to spread awareness, provide support, and fundraise for ACS.
CS: What do you do around campus?
ML: Besides our main event in the Spring, we table in Damen about once a month throughout the semester. At these table events, we promote our event, have cancer advocacy handouts, take donations, and answer any questions that students on campus may have. We make it a point to show that all our welcome to join our organization at any point in the semester because we never stop the fight against cancer and can use all the help that we can get.
CS: Why are you personally involved/is the cause close to your heart?
ML: When I was 3 years old my dad passed away from Leukemia. I have participated in Relay for Life for the last 8 years because I don’t want anyone else to have to grow up without a parent they lost to cancer. Since I started participating in Relay, my motivation for the cause has only increased because of the relevance in my life. A couple years ago, one of my very best friends was diagnosed with Leukemia at the young age of 19. Thankfully through the progress in cancer research over the last decade, my friend is now healthy and in remission. She is a motivator for me because no one should go through the things that I saw her suffer through at such a young age, or ever for that matter. My list of people could go on and on but what I love most about Colleges Against Cancer is that everyone can relate, everyone has been affected, and our organization can bring such a diverse group of people together.
CS: How is college against cancer different from other organizations that help the same cause?
ML: Colleges Against Cancer works directly with American Cancer Society. Unlike some organizations for similar causes, we know exactly where all of our fundraised money goes as it is laid out clearly on their site. American Cancer Society has a staff partner work with us all year round to better our event, she helps make our event the most successful we can. Additionally, we are the largest student led philanthropy event on campus for a number of years now.
CS: How can someone get involved?
ML: Anyone can get involved at any time!! As I said, all our welcome. We hold committee meetings weekly and team captain/community meetings about once a month until Relay. We have a Facebook page that we encourage everyone to “like” in order to get all updates regarding our events and our organization. We encourage all those who are interested to contact me directly either on Facebook or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Colleges Against Cancer raised over $80,000 last year. This year their goal is $100,000. Help them make their goal and join them on April 1st to participate in Relay for Life.