Survivor Spotlight: The (Nickolas) Main Event

On July 1, I got to be part one of the best days each year at Cancer for College: the day we contact applicants and inform them that they are won a Cancer for College scholarship. I experienced this myself back in 2011, when Craig Pollard called to tell me I would receive a CFC scholarship and made it possible for me to attend my first-choice school. I will never forget my feelings of shock and gratitude that left me near-speechless. As soon as the call ended, I jumped up from my family’s well-worn, blue couch to tell as my parents and siblings the good news.

This year, though, I was honored to be on the other end of the call, and was rocked by wave after wave of thankfulness, relief, and happy tears from recipients and their families.

It was awesome.

One call, in particular, sticks out to me. Every year, we award at least one perpetual scholarship, the recipient of which receives our highest-dollar scholarship for four years without needing to reapply! The only stipulation is for the perpetual scholarship to be given to an incoming freshman attending school in Southern California. This year, Nickolas Main was the deserving recipient.

There was just one problem…we could not get a hold of him.

We left messages. He would call back. We would be on the phone with another recipient, and he would leave a message. We would call back and the call would drop. It felt like a comical game of phone tag! Finally, after multiple attempts, we established a good connection but he did not have time to talk because he was heading into a panel at the Los Angeles Anime Expo.

That is when I realized Nickolas Main was much cooler than me. To make a long story short, we eventually connected to award Nick with his well-deserved perpetual scholarship. July 1 was the first day we had ever spoken with Nickolas, but we felt like we already knew him because we had poured over his application, and been caught up in his articulate and passionate essays describing his journey through cancer. We are excited to actually get to know him in person, and wanted to share some of his story with you because everyone should have the opportunity to be encouraged by this courageous survivor’s story.

With Nickolas’ permission, below is a portion of the essay from his application. We hope you are left changed after reading, and take the opportunity to meet Nickolas himself later this year, at our 23rd Annual Classy Golf Classic and Un-Gala After Party, on October 14 at Coronado Golf Course on Coronado Island.

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Nickolas Main, 2016 Cancer for College Perpetual Scholarship Recipient

“Cancer. This word is so menacing in our society. A simple word can cause people to eat healthier, exercise more, wear more sunscreen, and go to the doctor for excessive check ups. The connotation behind the word being death, anything associated with this word is deemed a death sentence; yet as children we rarely, if ever, think about cancer. We go through our childhoods with an unfounded sense of immortality; yeah Grandpa got it, but that’s not me. We weave the fabric of our dreams with quick fluid motions; full of life and imagination, never imagining that one word could rip that fabric to shreds.

Cancer.

The loud ringing that muffled out the world ceases. As reality set in I became aware of what happened. He said cancer. The stupid bump on my arm that he said was a normal break so long ago was now cancer. My emotions broke through the flood gates. Fear and panic plagued my mind. I felt helpless as the impending mortality of the world closed in on my immortal dreams. I am too young to die. This thought rapidly raced through my mind. I would never go to college, never marry, and never have kids. I would never truly live. My thoughts turn from what would never be to what would; Chemo, tests, and surgeries all laid before me. The light that was my future, slowly diminished below the horizon and the darkness of death encompassed me.

As the depression of facing my dark new world set in, I saw my mother. Tears filled eyes and a horrified expression on her face. An expression as if she had not done enough to stop this unforeseeable force. The look in her eyes was a look of failure; failure to protect her child. She believed she was to blame for this happening to me. The more the tears streamed down her face the more I realized the pain this was causing her. She was the best mother I could have ever asked for, always there for me always caring. This amazing woman thought that, in this terrible moment, she failed at being my mother.

It was then that I made a vow to myself to not let cancer kill me. Cancer would not take away my smile, my laugh, or the precious moments with my family. I had no idea what the next day would bring but I knew I would face it with a brave heart, and all of my courage. I never again wanted to see the same pain that was on my mother’s face, so I chose not to. I chose to become an immovable rock for my family, never letting cancer kill my spirit. My family is one of the most important things to me, and I decided I would do anything for them. I realized I had something worth fighting for, and I wasn’t going to let a stupid word determine my future.

Cancer.

My battle with cancer has helped me realize what is going on in the world around me. To watch others battle cancer, to watch families devastated by this disease had been a life altering realization. The realization is that I can make a difference. I can share my story and show others that there is hope there is a reason to keep going. We have a Facebook page for supporters in my community. It is called “cancer cant kick Nick.” On this page I have watched strangers share stories of inspiration by me sharing my struggle. I have attended events that I have been pulled aside and told “your story kept me going, kept me fighting, you’re the reason Im here today”. I as a Christian young man feel God has called me to go out in the world share and make a difference. I wish to go to college to work in the film industry. I am hoping that in doing so I can share my story in the public light. That I can have my battle help in a larger scale to those around me. I know that my battle is still one day at a time, but reaching at least one person each day I move forward is the biggest difference I can make. Cancer will not define me but It has made me reach higher, go longer and know that I Nick Main can make a difference.

 

To find out how you can help more cancer survivors like Nick achieve their goal of graduating from college, please visit cancerforcollege.org


 

Pro Pic - CircleAbout the author: Mitch Friesen is a childhood cancer survivor, CFC scholarship recipient (2011-2014), and now works for Cancer for College as their Director of Growth & Community. Mitch graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a degree in Business Management and minor in Theology. A lifelong learner and lover of adventure, when Mitch is not catching up with all of the awesome CFC recipients, he can be found enjoying the outdoors with his bombshell of a wife (Abbey), watching/playing soccer, and drinking coffee.

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Fighting Cancer When You Don’t Have Cancer: 3 Tips for Comforting Cancer Patients

An old friend called this week, asking if I had any advice regarding how to help a 19-year old boy who is terminally ill with cancer. The question did not shock me. As a cancer survivor myself, I am a member of a club no one wishes to join, but a club that comes with the privilege of entrance into the most intimate aspect of life: sickness and mortality. Over the years, I have listened to countless people share the turmoil they experience as either they, or their loved one, battles this life-threatening disease. On multiple occasions, I visited a hospital room that was occupied by a cancer-fighting compatriot one day, and the next day was empty. I have been in the world of cancer too long to be shocked by the question posed by my friend; however, I will always be deeply saddened when cancer strikes, and cannot wait for the day when a cure is found.

How do you comfort someone facing cancer? I realized there are far too many people asking this question for me to remain silent. The following 3 tips are simply my own perspective – what I found helpful personally, and how I reached out to others. I hope it alleviates some of your anxiety, as you or a loved one wonders how to be there for someone who is battling cancer.

  1. Presence

Simply put: the best way to be there is to be there. There are times in every cancer

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Three days after diagnosis, and two days post-op, all I needed was family to be there with me. (Photocred: Craig Friesen)

patient’s life when you do not want to be seen, particularly by those close to you, out of
embarrassment or exhaustion, but most often a cancer patient needs to know that they are not alone in their fight. And the easiest part is that you are not even obligated to DO
anything. That is the coolest thing about presence. A phone call or letter when you are unable to be physically present is also great. One aspect of the Cancer for College scholarship application is an essay about “how cancer impacted your family.” I love reading stories about how family, friends, and entire communities come together to support one person’s battle, thus making it their battle, too. To know that you are not alone is just as powerful as any chemo treatment.

 

  1. Distraction

Let’s face it, as hard as they try, hospitals are uncomfortable places. They are not home. Everything is sterile, there are beeping contraptions attached to your body, the bed seems to have more buttons than a spaceship, and strange (but loving) people keep coming in
and out at all hours. You get the picture. It is easy to feel out of place, confined, and unsure what to do. Unlike the previous tip, this one is all about activity. Bring a little normalcy back to your friend’s life by engaging with them in their hobbies. My mom read
The Hatchet and Star Wars books with me, friends sat on the bed and played video games, and we built

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The “Bald Buddies.” Three friends who willingly shaved their heads, played video games, and had a pie fight were great at distracting me when I needed them. (Photocred: Craig Friesen)

Zoids (giant, mechanical, fighting animal, robots. Very therapeutic, actually). We even
corralled some nurses into Nerf and water fights in the halls. This is what hospital volunteers do, and are amazing at it. I will never forget a volunteer, named Tosh, whose smile, jester hat, and willingness to just play brightened my day every time I saw him. Tosh became my friend because he made those hospital rooms feel more like home, and who better to help accomplish that than loved ones who essentially are your home.

 

 

  1. Honesty

This is the hardest one. The element no one likes, but still needs. Yet like a pinch of salt added to a meal, just a little honesty about the reality of cancer enhances and deepens the
flavor of your relationship. Cancer sucks. It is harsh, scary, and no one is prepared to face it when it hits. When you go through cancer, you are often changed physically, emotionally, and spiritually. To every cancer patient, there is no reason to be ashamed or

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There will be challenges and hard talks, but stepping in to share that burden is so important. (photocred: aboutkidshealth.ca)

try to hide what is happening to you. True friends and family will never judge you, but will support you as best as possible. Let them. Cancer is a burden that is best carried by the strength of many shoulders, united FOR you and AGAINST it. There is a great poem that

someone shared with my family during our bout with cancer, and has since been shared with many of our friends in similar circumstances, which depicts what cancer cannot do (you can read it in its entirety here). The point, though, is that so often we let cancer control us by fear and the stigmatization that we need to be cautious and guarded around those battling the disease. I think that gives far too much power to cancer. The moments when I felt most loved and cared for during my battle were when people leveled with me about the reality of my diagnosis, and then made sure that I knew I was not my cancer.

 

I know this is a break from our regularly positive and happy posts about recipients who have beat cancer and have gone on to accomplish great things in college (like Yomi, Kalina, and Taylor) but we, at Cancer for College, know better than most how important it is to support one another throughout, and after, cancer. In the midst of your battle, we see your potential and want to be there to help you accomplish your dream of a college education. Keep fighting, and be sure to keep in touch with us when you fight off that cancer and are ready to get back doing what you love. We are here for you.

Cancer for College provides hope and inspiration to cancer survivors by granting college scholarships.  Since inception, we have granted over $2 million in scholarships to more than 1000 cancer survivors. To learn more about Cancer for College, and to donate to help a cancer survivor go to college, visit cancerforcollege.org.


 

Pro Pic - CircleAbout the author: Mitch Friesen is a childhood cancer survivor, CFC scholarship recipient (2011-2014), and now works for Cancer for College as their Director of Growth & Community. Mitch graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a degree in Business Management and minor in Theology. A lifelong learner and lover of adventure, when Mitch is not catching up with all of the awesome CFC recipients, he can be found enjoying the outdoors with his bombshell of a wife (Abbey), watching/playing soccer, and drinking coffee.

The Constant Caregiver: Happy Mother’s Day

I am a mama’s boy, and proudly so. It is impossible to be otherwise when my mom has been the single greatest influence in creating my love of learning, reading, exploring, cooking…essentially everything imaginative in my life stems from the infectious joy my mom imbued to me through the years. She taught me how to not only endure challenges, but to pursue them because only through great success AND failure would I become stronger.

But I am also a mama’s boy because my mom was my constant caregiver as I fought cancer, as we fought cancer because she took on just as much pain and stress from the disease as I did. A mother’s greatest pride and fear are often simultaneously wrapped up in her children, and when I was threatened I experienced the full force of love and strength that only a mother can offer in a crisis.

  • Through silent — and often secret — tears, she journaled a combination of thoughts, prayers, and medical side effects the week she learned of my diagnosis.
  • With grit, she overcame her lifelong fear of needles in order to become my at-home nurse and administer my shots, as that was a condition of being discharged.
  • And with a mischievous grin she snuck me out of my hospital room in the middle of the night so we could watch a rare and awesome lightning storm from the playground lawn.

 

These memories are both unique and shared, as nearly all of our recipients fought cancer with the help of their mom. We asked a few of them for a special memory of their mother that we could share on this special Mother’s Day. Take a moment today to read those memories below, and then share your own Mother’s Day memory (or photo) in the comment section.

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Happy Mother’s Day! My mom with all of her kids and grandkids.

 

Sarah McNeil:

My mom was a constant source of strength for me during my treatments. I could always tell from my hospital bed which footsteps were hers coming down the hall of Levine Children’s Hospital. The mothers (and fathers and other caregivers) of children with cancer face a seemingly insurmountable number of obstacles and hardships. Most people never hesitate to call me a “survivor”, but I would not have been able to endure my treatments without my mom’s selfless love to sustain me. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! I am so grateful for you, and I love you so much.

 

Jackie Balliot:

I remember the day I was diagnosed, my family arrived at a hotel near the hospital late at night in preparation for the confirmatory scans the next day. My mom looked me straight in the eye and said “you are going to beat this, and a few years from now this is going to bring you so many amazing opportunities. you will get through this.” And of course- she was absolutely right! I love you Momma!

 

Anna Kellner:

When I was little, my mom was the sun and the stars. I thought that the entire universe revolved around her – her voice, her freckled skin, her attitude. She’d always sing to me while she cooked; our house was perpetually full of music. At some point, it became ritual for us to sing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” together because no wind and no rain could keep us from each other. But then I grew up and when I was sixteen, the whole house was silent. It was the night before my first chemotherapy treatment and the silence was unbearable. We were all terrified and uncertain but there was one thing I knew for sure… There wasn’t a mountain high, valley low, or river wide enough to break our family. So I turned up that song as loud as I could and I danced down the stairs to my mama, singing at the top of my lungs, and she raced into the hall with her arms open wide and sang with me.

That’s one of those moments that I will tell my children and my children’s’ children about because it was so real and intense. It was the moment that I knew my mother’s love would never fail me.

Happy Mother’s Day, lady. I love you!

To find out how you can make a difference in the lives of cancer survivors, please visit cancerforcollege.org

 


Pro Pic - CircleAbout the author: Mitch Friesen is a childhood cancer survivor, CFC scholarship recipient (2011-2014), and now works for Cancer for College as their Director of Growth & Community. Mitch graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a degree in Business Management and minor in Theology. A lifelong learner and lover of adventure, when Mitch is not catching up with all of the awesome CFC recipients, he can be found enjoying the outdoors with his bombshell of a wife (Abbey), watching/playing soccer, and drinking coffee.

Survivor Spotlight: Jackie Balliot

I was reminded this week that some infections are not bad. Working so closely in the cancer community, and being a cancer survivor myself, it is easy to become laden with the awful reality that so many lives are forever changed by the awful, infectious disease that is cancer. However, this week I was infected by something else: gratitude.

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Jackie posing while she was still on treatment 4 years ago.

I know I say it all the time on here, but it continues to be true that the best part of my job is getting to speak with our recipients. Hearing their stories and experiences makes it easy to believe that it is entirely possible to not only defeat cancer, but thrive after — and perhaps, sometimes, because of — a cancer diagnosis. That is the impression I got after speaking with Jackie Balliot, a sophomore at UNC Chapel Hill whose overwhelming gratitude has positively infected my attitude the entire week! Even as she is about to leap into life on the other side of a hospital stay, Jackie’s positivity and determination to utilize her gifts and experiences to help others is a great reminder of the adage coined by George Matthew Adams, “there is no such thing as a self made man.” We are so happy to have a small hand in Jackie’s story, and are so excited that she will be joining us on May 13 for our Casino Night in the Carolinas fundraiser.

For now, though, sit a while and read about how Cancer for College scholarship recipient Jackie Balliot is flourishing in college and using her gifts in the medical field to give back to so many people who have been similarly touched by sickness:

How are you enjoying your time at UNC Chapel Hill?

I absolutely love UNC Chapel Hill. It’s four hours from my home, so it close enough to where I can visit often but far enough away to where I’ve learned to be incredibly independent. As far as the school itself, I really love the atmosphere. Everyone is so friendly and I’ve been able to meet amazing people from several different backgrounds. I’ve actually been able to meet numerous other cancer survivors, which almost always makes for an automatic friendship! I’m on a Relay for Life committee that allows me to connect with cancer survivors in the county and tell them about our Relay event, which was a ton of fun last year. I actually got to be the keynote speaker at the Relay gala this year, which was a huge honor!

What has been one of your most memorable experiences of the past year?

Hmmmm. I would say participating in Dance Marathon last year. I’m a part of an organization called Carolina for the Kids foundation, and we raise money all year for the patients and families at UNC Children’s hospital. My committee’s job is to establish the relationships between the families and the foundation and to bring them to our big marathon at the end of the year, where we stand for 24 hours to raise money. The standing part was SO HARD, but the marathon itself was a ton of fun. When the patients from the hospital arrive at the end of the marathon, all of the participants get to see first hand where their money is going, and it makes it so worth it. My favorite part was at the very end, after standing for 24 whole hours, they revealed the total amount of money we had raised that year, and it was over half a million dollars! I’m not a huge crier but I cried my eyes out when they revealed it (which also could have been due to the lack of sleep). It it such a fantastic memory!

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Jackie telling everyone the reason she did the dance marathon.

How is your health?

I have been so lucky to be incredibly healthy all throughout college with consistently clear scans. During my treatment I had a limb-salvage surgery, so I have a metal knee and a rod through my femur and was worried about all of the walking to classes making it sore. However, it actually ended up strengthening it and now I have less problems with it than ever before!

Do you have any upcoming plans you are excited about?

I am so excited that I was recently accepted to UNC’s nursing school! It’s an extremely competitive program and I’ve been so anxious about it for the past year- but now I can take a sigh of relief and get ready to begin this summer! I’m also excited about hopefully returning to a summer camp that I am a volunteer counselor at this summer called Victory Junction, which is for children with illnesses and disabilities.

What made you choose nursing school?

When I entered college I had the intent of being pre-med, but it didn’t feel right once I started. During some check-ups and volunteering I began to observe the other members of healthcare teams more closely, and I realized that being a nurse practitioner would be a much more perfect fit. It’s sort of like the best of both worlds; I will get to work as a nurse and work very closely caring for patients and families, and once I go to graduate school I will also be able to be involved in diagnosis and prescribing medication. I definitely have the desire to work with children with cancer– I honestly can’t see myself doing anything else!

Another class of scholarship winners will be announced this summer. Do you have any advice to share with them that you wish you were told when you first entered college?  

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t adjust to college right away. I expected to instantly make friends and fall in love with the college experience, but found it extremely hard to adjust to such a new routine far away from home and I was way way out of my comfort zone- I even considered transferring. However, I eventually found my niche, and now I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.

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Jackie and her friends kicking off the Relay for Life with the survivors’ lap.

You just heard some of the best advice from someone who is truly thriving. We are so excited for all that is to come for you, Jackie, as you begin another chapter in your journey to becoming a phenomenal work. See you in May at Casino Night, where you are sure to have more great stories to share!

To find out how you can make a difference in the lives of young cancer survivors, and to learn more about how you can join Jackie at Casino Night, please visit cancerforcollege.org or email Logan@cancerforcollege.org.


About the author: Mitch Friesen is a childhood cancer survivor, CFC scholarship recipient (2011-2014), and now works for Cancer for College as their Director of Growth & Community. Mitch graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a degree in Business Management and minor in Theology. A lifelong learner and lover of adventure, when Mitch is not catching up with all of the awesome CFC recipients, he can be found enjoying the outdoors with his bombshell of a wife (Abbey), watching/playing soccer, and drinking coffee.

Cancer Survivorship: The Journey to Complete Freedom

“You are cancer-free.”

Few words have as much power to send chills down your spine and a smile across your face as these. After months, years, or even decades of battling back and forth with a disease that threatens your very existence this news offers proof that you have, indeed, triumphed! Sometimes, raucous celebrations ensue with friends and family (in my case, there was also a water fight, with super soakers and water-filled syringes, in the halls with some of my incredible nurses) as everyone’s energy combines and crescendos until it reaches an almost dreamlike peak. Other times, it is more befitting to sit in silence, stunned that it is over; you realize that somehow your body has been tensed since you received your diagnosis, and you revel in relaxation.

However it happens, chances are you missed hearing the doctor tell you about check-ups, potential long-term effects, and everything else that goes into being a cancer survivor. All aspects of assisting people who are in remission fall under the umbrella of “survivorship,” but that does not give any indication about how such programming helps you, well, survive.

Childhood cancer survival rates in the United States have increased from less than 20% in the 1960s to almost 80% in 2010.

Science has improved by incredible leaps so that more people afflicted with cancer before adulthood actually get the chance to live a long life. The major issue we now face is not whether most children will live through cancer, but how well they will live once they do; survivorship intends to answer that question. With the recent uptick in childhood cancer survivors, there has been a distinct shift in focus by research institutions to study the long-term effects of cancer during periods of massive human development.

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City of Hope, the same hospital that cured the founder of Cancer for College and many of our recipients, designed one such program to care for and evaluate young cancer survivors over a long period of time in order to better understand and mitigate any complications that might arise. Their survivorship program utilizes the expertise of a physician, nurse practitioner, dietitian, and psychologist to provide the most holistic and practical help possible.

Cancer for College is another organization that takes survivorship seriously, picking up where hospitals stop. A vast majority of our most meaningful life experiences and aspirations occur outside the walls of a research facility, and college is a time when so many of those are born and begin to come into focus. College students face the pressure to make a difference, choose the right major, make friends, and impress parents that adding potential medical issues and the unique mentality of being a cancer survivor can easily become overwhelming. This is where Cancer for College, and other organizations like Cuck Fancer and Dear Jack Foundation, are able to provide some much needed relief and resources.

Being a part of the Cancer for College family opens many doors to help cancer survivors become healthy and thriving. Receiving a scholarship is a crucial beginning that removes some of the burden of paying for college, thus making space for creativity and freedom to figure out who they are and how they are to accomplish their dreams. Along with this comes our desire for our recipients, and all childhood cancer survivors, to never feel like they are alone. That is why we love to encourage our recipients to get together with each other, past recipients, and mentors who understand what it is like to actually live daily as a cancer survivor.

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Past, current, and brand new scholarship recipients join Craig and Will for a photo in 2012.

If you have a college-bound cancer survivor in your life, or are one yourself, please apply for our scholarship. Head to www.cancerforcollege.org/application.html for more details and to begin the application. The deadline is January 31 so you have no time to lose! We would love to help you along your journey of survivorship.

Partners in Giving, aka Remember to Submit Your Application by January 31

 

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Some of our 2009 recipients receiving their scholarships.

Be still for just one moment and prepare to be amazed: right now, your fingers are tingling. How do I know that? Because the scholarship application deadline for the 2016-17 season is right around the corner – January 31 – and your phalanges are just itching to either fly across the keyboard to complete your own application, or fly across the touchscreen to tell a deserving cancer survivor you know to get cracking!

As is the case every year, our general scholarship is open to any U.S. resident and cancer survivor who is enrolled in an accredited college or university in the United States. We also have two region-specific scholarships available for anyone from or attending school in the Pacific Northwest or either of the Carolinas. However, in the past few years we have added additional, optional scholarships to which eligible applicants can apply! By partnering with some amazing organizations and families who share our passion for cancer survivors, we are able to provide even more scholarships to more cancer survivors every year, for which we are deeply grateful.

“Just who are these amazing organizations and families?” Good question! Without further ado, let us introduce you to our partners in crime giving. Perhaps you will find that you are eligible for another scholarship.

 

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CFC recipient Kalina Campion (left) and her sister Kiana performed with Andrew McMahon at a Dear Jack benefit show.

Dear Jack Scholarship: Andrew McMahon and his band Jack’s Mannequin were in the midst of their first U.S. headlining tour when he found out that he had Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. After successfully undergoing a host of treatment, and recognizing just how destructive cancer can be to young adults and their dreams, Andrew founded the Dear Jack Foundation. “Through outreach, collaboration, and focused initiatives, DJF works to create more positive health outcomes and improved quality of life for all young adults in this fight.”

The Dear Jack Scholarship is open to cancer survivors pursuing a career in the music industry. Declaring a music-related major is not required, but applicant must demonstrate how they plan to use music in their career.

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Will, Frank, and Craig.

“Frank the Tank” Scholarship:  The strength of one incredible person is enough to inspire and encourage countless others, and Frank Lozoya epitomized that mentality. As a four-time brain cancer survivor, Frank faced every challenge with determined smile and selflessness; even while undergoing treatment, he worked as a Behavioral Interventionist working specifically with autistic children and attended CSU Fullerton. With the help of a scholarship from Cancer for College and lots of hard work Frank proudly graduated with a BS in Kinesiology in May 2014. Sadly, Frank completed his fight with cancer in January 2016, but his passionate endurance and loving legacy endures in the form of the scholarship he created.

The “Frank the Tank” Scholarship is open to cancer survivors that are either currently receiving treatment or has long lasting side effects of cancer treatments (i.e. chemo brain) and will be attending California State University, Fullerton.

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Henry Streuli

Henry Streuli Memorial Scholarship: In his 14 years on this earth, Henry loved everyone, from babies to seniors. Henry was passionate about Jesus and his values of equality and love for all of humanity. He was a tenacious individual who never let his small stature hinder his ability to succeed. Whether it be pitching a 50+mph fast ball on the baseball team, ATVing up the largest sand dune or fishing off the coast of Alaska, Henry could conquer it all.

The Henry Streuli Memorial Scholarship is open to any cancer patient or survivor who is from and/or will be attending an accredited school or university in Washington, Oregon, Idaho or Montana.

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Steve Leonard (right) at the opening of one of his Jersey Mike’s franchises.

Leonard Family Entrepreneurial Spirit Scholarship: Lettuce be the first to say that if you were to meat long-time Cancer for College supporter Steve Leonard, you would see that he is bread for business. The tenacity with which he works has led him to great success as a Jersey Mike’s franchiser, to the tune of 10 restaurants opened with his business partner, Fred Downey. Sandwiched between his love of food and his talent for restaurant management is his passion for giving back to the worthy cancer survivors we all love.

The Leonard Family Entrepreneurial Spirit Scholarship is open to students pursuing a business-related degree with a desire to pursue career in food service industry and potentially own & operate a restaurant.

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Ross Skelton

Ross Skelton Memorial Scholarship: Ross Skelton graduated from Auburn University in 1986 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and quickly rose through the engineering ranks. Ross eventually became the Chief Commercial Officer at SPX FLOW in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he helped lead a global multi-industry manufacturing leader with approximately $2.5 billion in annual revenue, operations in more than 35 countries and over 8,000 employees. Even though he traveled the world for business Ross loved to make time for jokes, golf, and time with friends and family.

The Ross Skelton Memorial Scholarship is open to any cancer survivor from or attending school in North or South Carolina with a special consideration toward engineering students attending North Carolina State University or Auburn University.

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Skip Wohl

Skip Wohl Memorial Scholarship: Whether he was constructing commercial real estate or de-constructing a tennis opponent, Skip Wohl took to life like it was one big adventure after another. After graduating from USC with a BS in Finance in 1962, he went to work at the family construction company, transforming it over the next three decades into a trusted real estate development group with a knack for being creative and upbeat. When he was not at work, Skip actively engaged in trail riding, tennis, golf, and water and snow skiing. Not one to miss out on the excitement and joy of family, he was also the happy husband of his wife Jan for more than 50 years, a father of two children, a grandfather of four.

The Emil “Skip” Wohl Memorial Scholarship is open to cancer survivors who must be both from AND attending school in Southern California. The scholarship committee is looking for applicants who have faced the challenge of their cancer diagnosis head on while they continue to make a positive impact on the world around them and live life to the fullest.

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Skip Wohl on one of his many trail rides.

The Cherry Hawk Scholarship: The loved ones of Skip Wohl and some of his trail riding buddies established the Cherry Hawk Scholarship in order to give back to cancer survivors who embody the same energetic and active zeal for life.

The Cherry Hawk Scholarship is open to students from or attending school in Southern California. Student should aspire to a professional career studying in the fields of Sports Information, Sports Medicine (inc. Physical Therapist, Sports Psychology or related field), Sports Management Sports Marketing, Sports Journalism or Communications. Applicants can also be an active member of a university team that aspires to play their sport at the next level.

 

To learn more about any of our scholarships email info@cancerforcollege.org                       or call us at 760-599-5096.

Recipient Spotlight: Ashley Snyder

Once a year, a phenomenon occurs in which people everywhere remember that more than Amazon packages can be delivered in the mail, and pictures can include more than one’s meal. These “Christmas cards” allow friends and family to remain up-to-date with the major happenings of the previous year, and sometimes Cancer for College is lucky enough to be included on the mailing list. We love staying informed about everything going on in the lives of our recipients, and so appreciate that Ashley Snyder (2014-15 recipient) was gracious enough to fill us in. Here is the update Ashley sent out on her wonderful, busy year:

Hello!

            I am happy to be writing you after having successfully completed the Summer and Fall semesters here at Nova Southeastern University here in Florida.  The Summer was my final time having to be in a classroom full time as August began my clinical rotations!  The ability to do what I have been working towards for 20 years is the best feeling!  I have rotated through the Emergency Room where I was able to suture, reset broken bones, and even get beads out of a two year old’s nose and ear.  I have also spent time in Family Medicine and Cardiology.  Watching open heart surgery where they replaced the mitral valve was an experience I will never forget! 

Being offered a job during the first set of rotations was extremely flattering and something I will be keeping in mind as I continue forward in my studies.  My grades have remained great in the midst of working 50 hour weeks. I am so happy to be doing what I love and constantly being exposed to all aspects of medicine.  I will continue to keep you updated as my next rotations will consist of Urology, Surgery, Trauma, and OB/GYN. This next semester will include being both a practitioner and a patient which is always a difficulty to balance. And as the time approaches for my 2 year visit to Moffitt Cancer Center, I would appreciate any prayers or positive thoughts you might send my way. Thank you so much for your support and helping make these experiences possible!

Sincerely,

Ashley Snyder

 

Thank you so much for the update, Ashley! You are doing so well, and everyone in the Cancer for College family will keep you in our thoughts as you surge forward and make 2016 another great year!