Cancer. We are all susceptible to it. Cancer is the leading cause of death across the world. The threat of cancer evokes a common, ubiquitous fear amongst us all: a long and exhausting battle for our lives, which for better or worse, may be at its end. But as adults, our minds can be somewhat put at ease, as innovations in cancer treatment continue to progress. However, for children, the world of cancer treatment does not offer the same prognosis. According to the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation, only four percent of government cancer research funding goes to the study of Childhood Cancers. One in 285 children will be diagnosed with cancer, and cancer is the number one cause of death by disease among children. Since 1980, fewer than ten drugs have been developed for use in children with cancer, and only three have been approved for use in children. When a child is inflicted with cancer, they are not met with adequate treatment options, often resulting in additional health issues later in life, or an untimely death.
Those who know me know that I am a surviving twin to a sister who was born with neuroblastoma. Lauren lived cancer free for most of her life, but at the age of fourteen was diagnosed with a cardiomyopathy which developed as a late effect of the treatment she received as an infant. My sister’s sixteen-year battle has had a profound impact on me; it has helped to shape my perspective on life and loss, and how I interact with the world. I urge us all as a community to further our knowledge and understanding of pediatric cancer, and to get involved where and when we can both locally and globally. My mission is to bring positive change to the people and families struggling with childhood cancer, contribute to funding and finding a cure, and work tirelessly to offer children a cancer free life.
Hi, I am Caitlin. Originally from Philadelphia, I have lived in New York City for over thirteen years, and am proud to call it my home. The streets of the city, filled with all of their diversity and distinctive culture, continue to stimulate my intellectual curiosity and impassion my soul.
I am a lifelong student and passionate writer, most recently completing a certificate in Fundraising from New York University. I have a broad, multi-disciplinary Master’s degree in liberal arts from Villanova University. My degree focused on vital and meaningful contemporary issues, such as social justice, feminism and global inequality. Simultaneously as a fulltime graduate student at Villanova, I was admitted into a Creative Writing Masters program at Rosemont College. During my time as a graduate student at Rosemont, I completed several courses in Creative Nonfiction, and held an assistantship for The School of Ethical Leadership and Social Responsibility. It all started with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Rosemont College, where I learned to combine writing, the causes I’m most passionate about, and my ability to connect with people from all walks of life.
These experiences have taught me that education is one of the most valuable assets one can attain in order to grow and thrive in life. Through education we not only become more knowledgeable, we develop skills such as critical thinking, which help us formulate opinions, gain perspective on our surroundings, and add value to the world. While many see our country as a land of opportunity, even the most basic education is beyond reach for students in underserved communities. Not providing these children with adequate education is not only inequitable, it is a significant detriment to our society.
Recognizing the disparities in our educational system has the power to change lives. These children deserve to learn in a safe and encouraging environment. The direct funding of under-serviced schools can enable disadvantaged students to reach their full potential and flourish within society.
While every work opportunity has offered me a unique experience, I’ve always been driven by my own life experiences, especially the most difficult ones. My sister’s sixteen-year battle with illness has driven me to devote my life to helping those in difficult, unfair circumstances to confront and overcome their challenges. The lack of sufficient and affordable education for the children born into these circumstances is a prime example of such inequity. Better funding for schools in underserved communities is a moral imperative, because it offers everyone an opportunity to succeed.
Every day I search for opportunities to combine my passion, drive, education and life experience. The non-profit sector is what inspires me most, offering a chance to put my life in perspective, while bringing respite to the people and the causes that need it most desperately.
Most pressing, at least for me, is the necessity to help the lives and families of children in need. There is no shortage of children in desperate need of help and I will continue to do everything in my power to make their lives better.
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