Cancer support through community action


CEA Club attends Light the Night

October was Breast Cancer Awareness month. Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting women. According to one in eight US women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. Students at the school have been personally affected by breast cancer and other cancers in terms of having friends and family who have been diagnosed with cancer, or have past away from cancer. The month of October  evoked different emotions from students as they continue to discuss breast cancer and cancer awareness in general going into November.

Many personal experiences from students that have been affected by cancer were highlighted during October. A few years back, former student Juliana Clarkson passed away, affecting students at the school. “In the summer of 2015, the summer before my freshman year, a classmate of mine, Juliana Clarkson, passed away from mixed phenotype acute leukemia,” junior Julia Elman said. “Our choir community was really affected by her passing. I really wanted to help make a difference, so I reached out to the (then) president of the Cancer Education and Action club (CEA)”.

The CEA club is a way for students personally and not personally affected by cancer to support each other and learn about various types of cancer. The CEA meets in room 2212 on the first Thursday of every month. The CEA is a great way for the school’s community to get together to support each other and share their thoughts.“The club’s [original] purpose was to provide a place where students [could] be a part of a supportive community geared towards the same goal of educating teens about various types of cancers, cures, fundraising, and volunteering to reach that goal,” Elman said.

The CEA goes to events outside of school in addition to their monthly meetings to raise awareness and educate the public about cancer. The CEA walks at the event “Light the Night” every year in honor of their friend Clarkson. The walk raises money for individual teams that represent the cause they are fundraising for. Overall the CEA has raised thousands of dollars for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Clarkson that day. “During the event , not only did we walk with our lanterns, but there was a remembrance Pavilion for people to go into and share who they’re walking in honor of”,  Elman said.

The majority of students at the school do not personally have cancer themselves, but it does not mean they are not affected by it.“Raising awareness for breast cancer is important because there’s such a huge group of people affected by it.” junior Cailyn Murray said. “Whether you, or a loved one, or someone you know is diagnosed with breast cancer, it’s really scary and something no one deserves to go through.”