Richelle is majoring in Electrical Engineering at the University of Southern California. During high school, she was heavily involved in Robotics Team, founded and captained Physics Bowl Team, and tutored her peers daily. She also volunteered at the American Cancer Society and horseback riding facilities for handicapped children. An avid equestrian, Richelle has been riding since she was six and currently plays on the USC polo team.
She is deeply attracted to the emerging field of quantum computation and its medical applications, which she was exposed to through a research internship at UC Santa Cruz. Richelle has been inspired by Marie Curie’s great accomplishments and hopes to contribute to the fight against cancer.
Takashi is majoring in finance and economics at the University of Notre Dame. In high school, Takashi was involved in many activities including the National Honor Society, National Society of High School Scholars, and the National Council on Youth Leadership. When he was a senior in high school, his world came crashing down as he learned that his mom, a single mother, was diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer. After her passing, Takashi gained a new outlook on life.
He will dedicate all his hard work and perseverance in the memory of his mom hoping that she will be proud of the person he becomes. He will always remember and be grateful for her unconditional love and care. His dream is to become a successful financial adviser who can help others secure their financial futures in tough economic times.
Jenica is currently studying Animal Science/Pre-Vet at New Mexico State University. When she was nine years old, her dad was diagnosed with colon cancer. Living rurally and being home-schooled made everything more challenging. This experience also made her realize you never know what is going to happen tomorrow, so you have to enjoy every moment of every day and live life to the fullest.
Her dream is to become a rural, large animal veterinarian. She is involved in the community, participating in 4-H for ten years and helping with many community events. Currently, she is a leading member of the NMSU polo team. She will always remember and apply the lessons she learned while her dad fought his cancer about hard work, determination, and family and community importance throughout her studies, work, and life.
In the fall of 2008, she was devastated to discover that her grandfather was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and her mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Her grandfather passed during the holiday season that year, but her mother fought off the cancer and became healthy once again.
Rather than succumb to such adversity, Samantha instead joined in to help the cause. She became president of the Breast Cancer Awareness Club during her senior year of high school and worked tirelessly with her club members to raise funds for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. She is a part of the Honors Program at Northeastern University, and spends her free time teaching ESL to Hispanic adults at a community home and working in a lab with a graduate student researching energy efficient batteries.
Sonia graduated from high school in 2010 and now attends the University of Florida as a microbiology major. She was diagnosed at the age of 14 with acinic cell carcinoma, cancer of the salivary gland. After a long operation, Sonia overcame her cancer. She has a first degree black belt in karate, participated in her school's show choir and performance team of the Ballroom Dancing Club and served as the vice president and treasurer in her senior year.
She co-founded the Holiday Marvel Club, designed to bring joy to the less fortunate with holiday-themed events. Sonia learned from her cancer experience that every day is a gift from God. He gave her a second chance at life, and she intends to make full use of it. Now in college, she continues to live life with appreciation and eagerness for what the day has to offer.
At two years of age, Jennifer lost her mother to stomach cancer. Tragically, her father was diagnosed with bladder cancer a few years later. Seeing both her parents suffer through cancer profoundly shaped her view on life and fueled her ambitions for the future. She learned to never give up in the face of adversity and to treasure each moment as if it were her last.
Jennifer currently studies biology and psychology at the University of Michigan and will graduate with honors in 2011. She is currently applying for MD/PhD programs and hopes to dedicate her life to medical research. When not working in the psychology research lab, she volunteers and gives back to the community. She is actively involved in several organizations including PULSE, a student-run health promotion group, Circle K, an international service organization, and the Inter-Cooperative Council.
Corbin graduated from high school in 2006 and is currently attending Brigham Young University. In 2004, Corbin’s mother was diagnosed with colon cancer for the second time as his parents were going through a divorce. During these difficult years of chemotherapy, radiation, and heartbreak, Corbin actively volunteered at the same hospital where his mother was treated and he found joy in helping others in his same situation.
Corbin turned his life to medicine and is preparing to attend medical school. Currently, he is at the top of his class studying pre-medicine and Spanish. He works with a biomedical research team which focuses on localized cancer treatment to eliminate many of the side effects of the anticancer drugs. Corbin has used his mother’s cancer to further his goals of leadership, dedication, and integrity.
Megann graduated high school in June of 2009 and is currently attending Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA as a Spanish Major. When she was a freshman in high school her sister was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer forcing her to grow into a different way of living. Along with going to the Dominican Republic for missions trips during this time, Megann also helped build up a club at her high school called Project Angel which supports health care promoters in the country.
Currently, at Westmont she is leading a club called Island Explorer that hikes and camps on the Channel Islands. She believes the world has so much to offer us, just waiting for us to explore. Her sister’s experience with cancer showed her that the life, the beauty and love that the world contains is something that we should all appreciate.
Janette graduated from high school in 2006 and is now attending Blackburn College majoring in psychology, with a minor in biology. In 1995, Janette lost her father to non-Hopkins lymphoma, changing her life forever. After going through this experience, she wishes to help others who have experienced hard times.
Throughout her life, Janette has been actively involved in her school, as well in athletics. She has achieved the rank of black belt in both tae kwon do and hapkido. Furthermore, she participated in the Gus Foundation's first teen advisory board, raising money to help children with brain tumors. Additionally, Janette has received several awards for her academic achievements, including the honor of becoming an Illinois state scholar and receiving the President's Education Award for outstanding academic achievement.
Graduating in the top three percent of Red Bank Catholic High School in 2008, Zayan is presently attending Georgetown University and is enrolled in the McDonough School of Business planning to double major in Finance and Accounting. At the age of five, Zayan was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia and went through chemotherapy at the Children?s Hospital of Philadelphia. In her freshman year of high school, Zayan tragically lost her beloved father to liver cancer.
Throughout high school, Zayan was very involved in many activities including Vice President of the National Honor Society, Assignment Editor and Sports Editor of the school newspaper, the Dance Department, and volunteer work. Last summer, Zayan traveled to Nicaragua on a mission trip for seven days.
After high school, Julie pursued a professional career that led her to become Director of Sales, Marketing, Customer Service and New Product Development for a world-class electronics company. When a biopsy revealed a terminal, incurable lymphoma, Julie was faced with some life changing decisions. She gave up her successful career, refused traditional chemotherapy, and decided to make nutritional and lifestyle changes.
With her determination, her new outlook on life, and her family support, she was able to successfully fight off the cancer. She developed an interest in acupuncture. At age 48, she enrolled in college and obtained her Associate's Degree. Currently, Julie is working towards a Master's Degree in Oriental Medicine and a BS in Nutrition, with a graduation date set for 2010.
Emily graduated from high school in 2007 and now attends Brown University. During the ninth grade, she lost her mother to cancer. Having had deep respect and admiration for her mother, Emily's life was changed forever. The experience led her to reach out to others and gave her the willpower to achieve remarkable accomplishments.
She graduated in the top five in her class and was one of the first students from her school to attend an Ivy League institution. Throughout high school she participated in several activities including Future Problem Solvers, Theater Arts Club, Shakespeare Club, German Club and the People to People Student Ambassador Program. Emily is now focused on attaining a degree in Planetary Geophysics, and hopes to eventually earn a doctorate degree.