College Beyond Cancer: Guest blog by Lisa Eatough

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We’re thrilled to welcome Lisa Eatough, founder of College Beyond Cancer, as this week’s guest blogger. You may recognize her name from our recent Webinar, “Undergraduate Tuition Assistance” (archived on our website for anyone who didn’t get to listen!).  She has created a way for students who are cancer survivors to raise funds for their own education. We think it’s pretty awesome – and we hope you do, too!

logoCancer has touched my life many times, both personally and professionally.  As a physical therapist, I have had the privilege of working with patients who were fighting to move forward following cancer treatment, as well as the privilege of working with patients who were losing their battle, but still fighting to be home with their loved ones in their final days. However, I could have never imagined that the greatest challenge of my career would be to be at the center of a rehab process with my own child, a young survivor himself.  These experiences have not only touched me, but have also shaped me as a person and a therapist.  They have served as motivation to take action in the fight against cancer in a more vast way.

As the mother of a young survivor, I am passionate about both survivorship and education.  I understand the financial implications of a cancer diagnosis and do not believe that that should ever stand in the way of an education.  Armed with my son’s inspiration and a sense of resiliency and determination, I have found my place in the fight as the founder of College Beyond Cancer.

We all know how expensive college has become. We also know that grants, scholarships and loans don’t always cover the full cost… especially if you and your family have also had to use your savings for cancer-related bills. College Beyond Cancer is an easy-to-use, online fundraising platform specifically for students who are cancer survivors and looking to raise funds for college expenses.  It’s available to anyone who:

  • Is at least 18 years old
  • Is enrolled in college or graduate school
  • Was diagnosed with cancer at or before the age of 25

You can fundraise for any expense related to your college experience, including tuition, books, computers, living expenses and any other expenses you face as a college student.

Each of you has a compelling story.  The College Beyond Cancer website makes it easy for you to set up your profile and share your story in a meaningful and personal way. The process is very straightforward and user-friendly and you can include photos and video clips if you’d like. Once your profile is complete and published on the site, it can be shared via email and easily integrated with Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites.

When you’ve been through cancer treatment, everyone asks what they can do to help. College Beyond Cancer gives your friends and family (and maybe even people you don’t know!) a way to support you in your goals. It’s easy to give and receive donations, thanks to an integrated third party payer. There is only a nominal fee that is deducted from each donation prior to the transfer of funds to you, the student.

I believe that an education is both an opportunity and an investment in oneself, providing a path for students to embrace their passions and to positively impact their lives and those of others.  I hope that you will find College Beyond Cancer to be a helpful resource in the pursuit of education.  Please check out the website at http://collegebeyondcancer.org and feel free to email me at lisa@collegebeyondcancer.org.

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