Imagine being a teenager with cancer for a moment. Your life changes and you have no control over what you can and cannot do. You lose your hair when your appearance means so very much to you. You gain weight because of the steroid medications you are on. You have no appetite because of the treatment you are undergoing. You have to buy all new clothes because nothing fits. Your parents are working less so they can be with you for your hospitalizations, scans and care at home. You are at the mercy of your protocol and treatment. Time goes on and the novelty of the diagnosis wears off and friends and supporters move on with their own lives and you are left with another year of treatment. You are feeling alone and isolated at a time where socialization is critical to your development. Imagine for a moment that feeling of hopelessness…..feeling of despair.
What can you do to help?
This semester students in Dr. Meredith Ezak’s Modern Topics in Biology (BI 110) classes will be rising to the challenge to assist teens facing these issues. As part of a new Service Learning partnership, students in BI 110 will be assisting Kaely’s Kindness Foundation with several projects and events. The foundation was started by Orchard Park teenager, Kaely Kwitek who found herself struggling with very similar issues as described above throughout her diagnosis and treatment of Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL) in her junior year of high school. As Kaely embraced her diagnosis and moved along her journey, she found minimal resources to assist her in dealing with being a teen living with cancer.
Please be on the look-out for students on campus that may be reaching out to the Hilbert community for support with their efforts. If you have any questions on Service Learning or the Kaely’s Kindness Foundation, please contact Rachel Wozniak in the Office of Career Development and Service Learning (716-926-8929 | firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dr. Meredith Ezak.