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10 Ways VCU Students Help Massey Fight Cancer

Welcome to VCU, new students, and welcome back to campus, returning students! Massey Cancer Center is proud to be part of VCU and we invite you to join us in the fight against cancer. Here are 10 ways to engage with us.

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1. Work as a clinician at Massey to serve cancer patients

Many of Massey's clinical staff are VCU using what they learned as students in their current roles as oncology doctors, nurses, pharmacists, therapists and more.

Dr. Andrew Poklepovic completed his medical residency and fellowship at VCU and is now a hematologist-oncologist at Massey.

2. Conduct cancer research at Massey to find tomorrow’s best treatments

VCU students from majors across both campuses are engaged in cancer research at Massey.

Justin Sperlazza and Megha Desai are both fifth year M.D./Ph.D. students in VCU's Department of Cancer and Molecular Genetics. They currently work in the lab of Dr. Gordon Ginder, Massey's director.

3. Raise money to benefit innovative cancer research at Massey

Via Matt Rise, VCU Brandcenter Front Office Manager

VCU students participate in many fundraising events to support cancer research at Massey.

Team Killer Boobies from VCU Brandcenter raised more than $16,000 for the HDL, Inc. Massey Challenge at this year’s Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K presented by MARTIN'S in honor of their fellow student, Michelle Lamont, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 25.

4. Volunteer at Massey to help cancer patients

Student volunteers at Massey help cancer patients in many ways.

Shaun Dela Cruz started volunteering at Massey's Thomas Palliative Care Unit three years ago as a student. Now as an alumus, Shaun's experience at Massey inspired him to pursue a career in health care administration.

5. Work as an administrator to support Massey’s research, patient care and education

Many Massey administrative staff members are VCU students or graduates.

Taking what they have learned in the classroom into their professional life, Sam Yerkes, Kim Lammi and John Wallace, all current or former VCU students, work in the Massey Communications Office to promote Massey's important work.

6. Incorporate Massey into your school projects to hone your skills

Several VCU classes have partnered with Massey on school projects. VCUarts students from the MoB Studio-which is made up of honor students from the interior, fashion and graphic design departments-worked with Massey on one of their community design projects.

The students designed a prototype for a shirt made of breathable fabric and with invisible snaps that would allow for easy access to port catheters for cancer patients. They also designed hospital masks made with fun and colorful fabrics that would bring a playful and unique look to an otherwise boring garment.

7. Help Massey raise cancer awareness

Many VCU student groups, clubs and sports teams have engaged with Massey to raise cancer awareness.

In February, the VCU Women's Basketball team hosted a Pink Out and wore pink jerseys and honored Massey breast cancer survivors during a special half-time ceremony to raise breast cancer awareness.

8. Intern or be a student worker at Massey to gain valuable experience

Massey offers internships and student worker opportunities for VCU students.

Alex Cotman, a student worker, is gaining on-the-job experience by assisting Massey's Development Office with its fundraising efforts.

9. Choose Massey as your cancer care provider, should you ever need one

Unfortunately, cancer affects people of all ages. Luckily, VCU students have access to Virginia's top rated cancer care provider.

In 2006, 19-year-old VCU student Iva Petrosino was diagnosed with Stage 4 Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Thanks to the care she received at Massey, Iva is now cancer free and loving life with her husband, Joe, and daughter, Lucianna.

10. Participate in a clinical trial to help cancer researchers discover breakthroughs

At Massey, volunteers join our doctors and scientists in the research process and share pride in helping to discover new treatments, test innovative devices and broaden our knowledge of how to prevent and control cancer in our communities and beyond.

When VCU alumna Terrell Harrigan (right) was diagnosed with breast cancer, she enrolled in two clinical trials because she wanted her experience to benefit others. After seeing her daughter's experience, Terrell's mother, True Luck, chose to enroll in a clinical trial when she was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. Now, as grateful survivors, True and Terrell are committed to raising awareness and support for Massey's cancer research mission.

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