By ERIC ANDERSON
BYU’s Cancer Awareness Group is participating in Breast Cancer Awareness Month with activities the week of Oct. 20-25.
Wednesday and Thursday, the club is sponsoring a ribbon campaign where students may choose to wear a pink ribbon to show support for cancer awareness.
“The pink ribbon is a nationally recognized symbol for breast cancer awareness,” said Patrick Olson co-president of CAG.
The ribbons will be distributed from a booth in front of the Harold B. Lee Library along with information from the American Cancer Society.
Dr. Saundra Buys, deputy director of the Huntsman Cancer Institute, will speak at 11 a.m. in 151 TNRB Thursday about “Breast Cancer Facts and Controversies.”
Friday will end the week’s activities with “Acoustic Jam,” a benefit concert in the Wilkinson Center Ballroom. The concert is from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and costs $3 per person.
Dr. Dan Simmons, director of the BYU Cancer Research Center, said that all proceeds from the benefit concert will go to the BYU Cancer Research Center.
Lindsay Jones, vice president of fund raising, hopes that many students come and enjoy the concert.
“It’s a good concert. You’ll hear a lot of good music, and it’s for a good cause,” she said.
The CAG has more than 50 active members and is dedicated to educating people about, preventing and curing cancer, Olson said.
Olson was diagnosed with “an aggressive type of bone cancer” at age 13. However, because he has gone at least five years without reoccurrence, he is considered to be officially cured.
“Most members (of CAG) have been touched in some way by cancer, especially the officers,” Olson said.
Matthew Morgan, vice president of public relations for CAG, joined for personal reasons.
“I joined because some of my family members had cancer, and I thought I could help others who might be going through a similar situation,” he said.
Morgan suspects this is a common thread for many club members.
Simmons said that CAG is “a great opportunity for those who have had experience with cancer, either themselves or a family member, to get involved in a positive manner.”
The mission of the Cancer Awareness Group is “to educate the BYU community about cancer, serve those people affected by cancer, raise funds to further cancer research and encourage the growth and development of each member,” Olson said.
Olson said that the club is trying to fulfill the vision that President Harold B. Lee, 11th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, had concerning BYU’s role in curing cancer.
“We can create within BYU students the vision that cancer can be cured and that we can make a significant contribution toward finding that cure,” President Lee said.
Cancer may hit closer to home than many students think.
For every 100,000 Utah residents, 126 die of cancer each year, according to the homepage of the American Cancer Society.
Using these statistics, a total of 2,485 people a year die of cancer in Utah. Some of those deaths may be BYU students.
According to the year-end diagnosis report from the McDonald Health Center, 10 BYU students were diagnosed with cancer in 1996.
The CAG meets the first Wednesday of the month in W112 BNSN. Meetings start at 7:30 p.m. and usually last an hour. The next club meeting is Nov. 5.
Membership dues are $10 per semester if students want a T-shirt and $5 per semester ifsthey don’t want a T-shirt.