Day 191: Taking a stand

standup2cancerlogoToday I made a donation to Stand Up To Cancer an organization devoted to funding innovative cancer research.

I don’t know anyone whose life hasn’t been touched by cancer in some way. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, an estimated 166,400 new cases of cancer and 73,800 deaths will occur in Canada in 2008.

I lost an old friend, my step-mother and a dear family friend to cancer this year. And, in their memory, I have donated to the Canadian Cancer Society, the American Cancer Society, the Terry Fox Run and now Stand Up To Cancer.

Each group has its own focus and I figure assaulting the disease on multiple fronts in a sort of blitz attack sounds like a pretty good strategy to me. Supporting these efforts also helps me feel as though I’m taking some kind of positive action toward finding a cure.

Here is an inspirational story of a school that worked together to take a very positive action by making a donation in the memory of two beloved teachers:

NA Elementary School
North Adams Elementary School

NA Elementary raises money for cancer
by Carleta Weyrich (excerpted from

SEAMAN – The students and staff at North Adams Elementary School couldn’t forget the tragic loss last year of two well-loved teachers, so they decided to do what they could to prevent a similar loss from happening to someone else.

The teachers, Sherry Volner, fourth grade, and Sandy Artigas, kindergarten, lost their battles with cancer within six months of each other.

“We dedicated our community project this year to the memory of those teachers,” Marla Young, assistant principal wrote to the Defender. “We collected one dollar from each student in our building to raise money for the fight against cancer. By donating to the ‘Stand Up To Cancer’ organization, we got to name a star after Mrs. Artigas and Mrs. Volner. Many teachers, staff members, organizations and family members also contributed. Our total donation was $3,250.”

“It’s fantastic what the students did,” Volner said after an assembly at the school in late October. “It goes to show what can be accomplished – how great kid power is.

“Both teachers were much loved by the staff and are sorely missed,” Young wrote. “Their courage and strength will continue to inspire us for many years to come.”

Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) provides funding to cancer research programs. In September, the organization kicked off an international fundraiser, which collected more than $100 million by Dec. 3.

According to a progress report from the SU2C Scientific Advisory Committee, 70% of SU2C’s funds will go to translational cancer research “Dream Teams” — groups of researchers from institutions in the U.S. and abroad who will combine their multidisciplinary expertise to address critical areas in translational cancer research.

P.S. My “12 days of Christmas carols” continues. Enjoy!


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