Class project spurs cancer awareness

julie balzarini

Villanova Students Against Breast Cancer developed out of a class project assigned in Dr. Gerard Olson’s Corporate Restructuring class.

The assignment was to develop strategies to boost revenues for the Linda Creed Foundation, which raises money to provide medical care for working women at the lower end of the socio-economic scale.

In many cases, women in this position must decide whether to buy food and other necessities or pay for a mammogram.

Free mammograms are not offered by governmental agencies. The foundation relies on contributions to provide this service to women.

One project from an earlier semester resulted in a joint partnership between the foundation, Paoli Hospital and Villanova. They have implemented a regular free mammogram day and have had two such events so far.

Since Olson’s class is primarily a senior course, many students’ ideas are not implemented. Villanova Students Against Breast Cancer has taken one of these ideas and put it to work.

“This group is a means for the people doing the projects in his class to see their ideas in motion,” said Natasha Mariani, president of the group.

“Now we have a club started from this class that continues the work from year to year, so everyone can get involved,” she said.

There are currently about 40 members in the group, many of whom heard about it through Facebook.

The group is in the process of planning events to take place this semester and next. It plans a “Save Second Base Run” on Sheehan Beach on April 15.

There will be bases set up on Sheehan Beach, and participants can run the bases and then have their name entered to win prizes.

They will also be selling T-shirts the day before at The Italian Kitchen, at the event, door-to-door and through Fraternity and Sorority Life.

Vice President of Fundraising Margaret Mooney’s cousin Bridget Mooney, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age and has been featured on “Live with Regis and Kelly,” will be speaking on Sept. 27.

The group also wants to have a football game completely dedicated to breast cancer awareness.

“We haven’t gotten complete approval for it – it’s still in the planning stages,” Mariani said. “The idea is to use the game to promote the speaker and make it a whole breast cancer day, just to raise awareness about the group and about breast cancer.”

“Some ideas have been pink balloons everywhere, maybe a raffle or selling T-shirts and hats,” Mooney said.

The group is also working on breast cancer legislation, especially the “48 Hours Campaign,” which is trying to have a law passed that says insurance companies must pay for women to stay in the hospital for 48 hours after a mastectomy.

The group is working on circulating petitions for this legislation.

“We could also potentially promote that at the football game, maybe have tables set up where people can sign the petition,” Mooney said.

“We just want to incorporate it into every event we do.”