By Abby Warne, Contributing Writer
Whether a person suffers from cancer or knows a family member or friend who suffers or did suffer from the disease, it is safe to say that in some way, shape or form cancer affects everyone. When facing cancer it is common to feel somewhat powerless to the disease, but for students at West Liberty University (WLU) that are interested in joining the fight against cancer, there is the option of joining the club, Colleges Against Cancer.
Colleges Against Cancer is a non-profit, student organization on campus that gives students the opportunity to take part in and help raise money and awareness for cancer while also passing along information about the disease to the students and faculty of West Liberty University as well as members of the community.
Though it’s only in its second year on campus, West Liberty’s Colleges Against Cancer has been involved in numerous projects. The organization aims to have at least two events per semester.
“Last fall, we raised money at the Hilltoppers Choose Hope walkathon that was held in the ASRC and all the money was donated to the Wheeling Hospital Shiffler Center for cancer research. Last semester, we raised money at the Kappa Phi Pink Party and donated it to them, who also donated it towards cancer research,” said Kylie Bolden, president of the organization. “Also last semester, we had a table in the Union, ‘Cards for Kids’, where we sent cards to several hospitals in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania for cancer patients to let them know we are thinking of them and that we care.
“Our big event this semester is called Olivia’s Closet. It’s held in Washington, Pennsylvania and we are collecting any prom or formal dresses, shoes, purses, jewelry, anything prom-ish and they are donated and it allows people who are less fortunate and can’t afford the stuff to go and get it at an extremely discounted price.”
Bolden explained, “What Colleges Against Cancer means to me is hard to put into words. Cancer hits home for me like it does a lot of people nowadays. But in my family alone, 12 people have been affected by cancer and only two have won the battle. It is very personal for me and that is why I wanted to become so involved with Colleges Against Cancer. I know that I, as one person, cannot find the cure for cancer, but if I can spread the word about the causes, occurrence rates, and harmful events then I feel as if I have made a difference.”
The organization boasts 31 current members. The officers for the organization include Kylie Bolden as president, Shelby Zaleski as vice-president, Heather Carmichael as education chair, and Nikki Deem as treasurer. The faculty advisers are Courtney Drahos and Marcella Snyder.
“Marcella and I oversee the group and help out whenever we can. If there are any things that the group needs taken care of in the administration side of things, we take care of that,” Drahos explained. “What I like about Colleges Against Cancer is that the people in the group are passionate about the organization. They are a proactive, close-knit group.
“What people don’t realize about Colleges Against Cancer is how much of an impact a student group like this can have,” Drahos added.
Bolden said, “I think that something most people don’t know is that we are not a ‘typical’ club on campus. All the money we raise, we donate back to cancer research and awareness information. We are not pocketing any of the money and donations.”
For students interested in joining West Liberty’s Colleges Against Cancer, the group meets every other Wednesday evening at seven in the Alumni Room of the Student Union. To learn more about the club, students can e-mail Kylie Bolden at email@example.com, Courtney Drahos at firstname.lastname@example.org or Marcella Snyder at email@example.com.
Students that wish to join can even attend a meeting. Information about upcoming meetings is posted in the Hilltopper Headlines, which are sent to West Liberty students’ email accounts.