Cure Club offers support for those affected by cancer


Photo Courtesy of Gigi Cepeda

STRIDES FOR A CURE: Cheering at a Cure Club event (left), sophomores Lina Pedrelli, Sammy Tvaroh and Erin Nukk smile for the camera. Gathering for a group photo (right), Cure Club members huddle together after their Stride for a Cure event. Last year, Cure Club raised approximately $50,000 for cancer research, a number they hope to surpass this year.

Gwyn Skiles, staff reporter

Grief. According to senior Amanda Swanson, grief is powerful and can sometimes motivate people to make an impactful change in their community. This is something Swanson experienced after having lost her mother to colon cancer two years ago. Through Cure Club, she has been able to reach people and save lives.

Deborah Stein, Cure Club sponsor, believes that Swanson’s story is exhibited in other members of Cure Club. According to Stein, goals of Cure Club include channeling grief towards bringing awareness to other students about different types of cancers, as well as hosting events to gather donations for organizations. However, Stein explains that Cure Club doesn’t just provide donations, but has also proven to be emotionally supportive for the students who have lost someone dear to them.

“It’s not a support group or anything like that, but I think it’s a place where kids who have suffered from loss [can] feel like they can take their grief [and make it into] a positive energy,” Stein said.

According to Swanson, Cure Club continues to make her feel hopeful and happy. When she joined, she felt as if she could relate her grief to others, making her feel important and included.

“This was my safe space,” Swanson said. “I quickly discovered that other people had similar stories too. I could talk about my mom’s struggle. I just felt that instead of sitting around moping about [the passing of my mom], I’d join Cure Club to give me something to do and help other people in the process.”

According to Stein, Cure Club’s main attraction, Relay for Life, raised around $50,000 for the American Cancer Society last year, something they wish to continue to expand.

“We have these big events throughout the year that just mobilize the whole school, people from all different areas, and that’s what I want Relay for Life to be: the end of year party that everybody does,” Stein said.

According to junior Toni Zheleva, Cure Club board member, the increase in students partaking in the club has increased rapidly in the past year. She says increased participation will attract more donations and attendees at Relay for Life.

“This year, I really think we’re going to pull through because our club has tripled in size,” Zheleva said. “I’m really excited about organizing and bringing a lot of fun to people with high hopes.”

According to Stein, at a regular meeting they typically start with a powerpoint focusing on a type of cancer and discuss, schedule and sign up for fundraising events. Anybody can participate in this club, even if you don’t have a history of cancer, which is what Zheleva thinks makes their community so special. Stein agrees with Zheleva and describes the kids involved in the club as caring toward each other and their community.

“They’re nice kids and it makes me happy to be around them and witness them doing these awesome things and supporting each other.” Stein said.

According to Stein, the optimism of the members is profound, something that she considers to be rare and important to her.

“It’s sort of cheesy, but there’s really bad things that go on in the world and I feel like when I’m with students from Cure Club and see all of the great things they’re doing, I’m momentarily optimistic for the future,” Stein said.