The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 10, 1989 - Page 7
In fight against cancer,students offer service, funds and fun
by Katy P. Kowalski
The pain of chemotherapy, the
debilitating effects of radiation
treatment, and the psychological
burden of facing possible death for
the cancer patient are all commonly
But what many fail to realize is
the cancer patient's struggle with the
day-to-day activities healthy individ-
uals take for granted: driving to the
hospital, caring for children, and
shopping for groceries.
The local American Cancer
Society cannot fulfill all the cancer
patient's requests for these services.
University Students Against
Cancer has formed to fulfill these
needs and to raise funds for cancer re-
Founded this April, USAC is
supported with ideas and advice by
the American Cancer Society via the
efforts of April Obemeyer, Executive
Director of the Washtenaw County
"Patients often request rides to
chemotherapy or radiation therapy,
especially the elderly; or some pa-
tients need help with groceries, laun-
deries, children." But, Obemeyer ex-
plained, "we can't provide all of
these services because we do not
have enough volunteers. USAC can
hook up into the American Cancer
Society - we can screen calls
through our office."
through social events and providing
services for patients," Guttman said.
"This is a small scale effort, we
are also working on a big band com-
petition event for the spring which
should be a rocking-evening and is
projected to raise from $1,000 to
$2,000," said Guttman.
Other plans include:
- selling holiday cards providing
information on cancer after
'My friend's sister has cancer, we wanted
to take an active part. We felt helpless and
we wanted to feel like we were doing some-
- LSA first-year student and USAC member
pamphlets on cancer at the group's
"We would like to have a good
time in the fight against cancer. It's
a chance for people with similar
ideas, values and hopes to meet in a
joint cause. We can't change the
world but we can help by using en-
tertainment to raise funds," said
Many members said they have
personal reasons for joining the
group - often a friend or relative
has suffered from cancer. Guttman
states that one out of three people ei-
ther will have cancer, or know
someone close to them who has had
to battle cancer.
"My friend's sister has cancer; we
wanted to take an active part. We felt
helpless and we wanted to feel like
we were doing something," said
LSA first-year student Carolyn Karr.
LSA sophomore Nikki Smejkal
described her inspiration for joining:
"A few members in my family in
the past or now have suffered from
cancer. I really wanted to help.
Anyone can. We're trying to help
stop cancer by funding research".
Others joined USAC because
they are professionally interested in
cancer research and treatment. LSA
sophomore Lisa Moody said, "I'm
pre-med and I'm interested in cancer
treatment and research. I had never
heard of a group like this and I
wanted to see what I could do to
Many people fight for "political
things," said USAC president and
engineering sophomore Robert
Guttman, but USAC members feel
they are actually accomplishing
something concrete. "We do what we
can to fight cancer by raising funds
- a "Pinball Pete's Day" to use
proceeds from its video and pinball
- distributiing collection cans;
- disseminating informational
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