Next year Harvard students involved in the newly-formed student organization Harvard Against Cancer will join a region-wide effort in the battle against brain tumors.
Harvard Against Cancer, founded by Michael Silverstein '92, will work with the Brian Tumor Society and the multi-campus organization Campus Against Cancer to raise funds for brain tumor research and promote general awareness of the deadly disease through education and networking programs.
Silverstein said that he believes that college students will have a particular interest in brain tumor awareness programs because on "each campus a handful of people will be directly affected" by the disease.
"The brain tumor is a tumor of young people," Silverstein said.
Silverstein said that Harvard Against Cancer has "two-fold" goals--fundraising and the organization of support groups for patients and their families and friends.
In its fundraising capacity, Harvard Against Cancer will likely follow the lead of the six existing Campus Against Cancer schools--Tufts, Boston College, the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, Syracuse and Wesleyan--which this spring participated in a successful two-week fund drive.
Harvard Against Cancer will stand apart from its counterparts at Campus Against Cancer--also founded by Silverstein--in its "visionary" plans to organize support groups, he said.
"We need to make the quality of life for patients in remission that much better," said Silverstein, who explained that patients "have special needs" and often feel isolated.
"Brain tumor patients need other brain tumor patients," Silverstein said, "and families of brain tumor patients need other families of brain tumor patients."
Money raised by Harvard Against Cancer and Campus Against Cancer is channeled into the Brain Tumor Society, a New England regional organization formed in March 1989 by Bonnie Feldman, a resident of North Dartmouth, Mass., whose son Seth died of the disease in December 1988.
The Brain Tumor Society provides funds for research and clinical care and provides educational materials and access to counselling resources for tumor patients and their families, Feldman said.
The Brain Tumor Society is "extremely enthusiastic about the campus programs," said Feldman.