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Fight Cancer In All Colors: Colleges Against Cancer Club

The recent University-wide Involvement Fair debuted a variety of different clubs, one of them being a relatively new organization to Monmouth’s campus— Colleges Against Cancer. As students flocked to various tables throughout the duration of the event, some students who approached this particular club had a story to accompany their signature.

Ludriana Bazile, President for Colleges Against Cancer, was inspired to reignite the club’s presence on Monmouth’s campus because of her own experience with cancer. She was diagnosed with Leukemia Blastoma at 15 years old.

She began, “As someone who has struggled with cancer, I feel so connected to the mission of this organization.” She explained that the purpose of the club is to not only support Monmouth students who have connections to cancer, but also spread awareness about the many variants of the disease that afflict members of our society.

Bazile continued, “It’s hard to feel as though others are going through what you went through…I remember when I first got a T-shirt for brain cancer; it reassured me that there are others struggling with the same thing I am.” As emphasized by Bazile, even those struggling with cancer are unaware of the community’s largeness.

“Whenever I looked for something to represent my battle with cancer, most of what I saw was pink, unless I searched for something very specific,” said Bazile. Other community members likewise approached the table for Colleges Against Cancer, sharing their experiences with cancer and the lack of representation.

Elizabeth O’Brien, Director of the Education Opportunity Fund (EOF), spoke about her niece, Emiliana Rose. “At only 13, she would get regularly frustrated when she realized how much less childhood cancer patients were funded in comparison to other patients,” started O’Brien. According to O’Brien, this fueled her nieces desire to raise awareness for child-cancer patients.

“She coined the phrase, ‘I want gold to be as popular as pink,’” said O’Brien. Her niece’s determination led to the creation of Emiliana’s Hope, an organization founded in raising this type of awareness.

Another table visitor, who asked The Outlook to remain anonymous, also spoke of a family member’s battle with cancer. “In 2015, my grandmother, Cecile Rene, was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. She would regularly declare to others that she could do everything others assumed she would not because of her cancer,” said the student.

“My grandmother’s physicians would often predict when she would pass, but she always proved them wrong, living two more years after those initial diagnoses…She would spend a month at the hospital, then come home and cook a meal for everyone, upset if someone went without eating that day.”

The student’s grandmother passed in April 2022. She remarked, “It makes me sad to know that grandma is in a different place, but I feel compelled to stand with an organization, like Colleges Against Cancer, that promotes awareness about what cancer really looks like.”

This student was only one of several that came and offered solidarity for the mission behind this club organization, to raise awareness for all cancers, no matter the color.

“There are a lot of other colors in the cancer rainbow,” concluded Bazile. “It is our responsibility to make sure that all cancer patients, and their loved ones, are represented in the fight against it….If you yourself don’t bring up your fight, it’s silent.”