Hannah Carroll, Campus Carrier Staff Writer
Colleges Against Cancer (CAC) is a program developed by the American Cancer Society (ACS) to bring the fight against cancer to college campuses.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States with one in every four deaths caused by cancer, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, the overall cancer death rate fell by 26 percent from 1991 to 2015, according to the SEER cancer statistics review, but the war has not been won yet. Over one million cancer cases were reported in 2015, according to the CDC, making awareness and aid against cancer a still relevant cause to support and join. In an effort to combat this horrible disease, several organizations and foundations have come together to raise awareness and funds that contribute to cancer research, including CAC.
CAC is a student-designed organization that enables students to battle cancer on their campus through programs designed to raise cancer awareness while also educating the student body.
Berry’s own chapter of CAC is led and organized by senior and president Jessica Cathcart. Aiming to complete the mission of the ACS, Berry’s CAC hosts many events that showcase the cause of their club. Each semester an education week is held by CAC that teaches Berry’s community about different types of cancer, as well as the symptoms and impacts of certain lifestyles as a means of promoting prevention. Support for survivors is also exhibited during this week through a letter-writing initiative that is sends letters nationally to young girls with cancer, according to Cathcart.
“We have amazing officers that plan and execute events, and a great group of club members that help with the planning and execution of these events,” Cathcart said.
CAC routinely partners with other campus organizations, such as the Berry athletic programs, to get more students involved. During October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, CAC collaborates with the volleyball and football team to host Pink Out games that aid in raising money for breast cancer-specific charities and organizations. Also debuting for the first time is CAC’s endorsed Powderpuff Tournament set to occur on Oct. 19. According to Cathcart, this female event was created to raise funds for the ACS while empowering women on campus as well.
Other programs are implemented outside of October as well. CAC hosts No Shave November for Men’s Cancer Awareness and to also raise charitable funds for the ACS, and they collaborate with the basketball team in February for their World Cancer Purple Out game. Another big event for CAC is their partnering with Floyd County for the annual Relay for Life in February.
Through the dedication of its student leaders and members, CAC aims to complete the mission of the ACS to educate the student body and fight cancer from Berry’s campus. Student involvement is encouraged as the battle against cancer and the support of survivors is continued, whether it be from joining the organization or interacting with their programs.
“Many students were involved with a similar organization in high school, or have been personally affected by cancer and feel called to work for awareness on campus and fundraise for a cure,” Cathcart said.