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Cancer patient aims for the green

- August 27, 2012

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Summer golfers, take note: the next time you tee off, you can do it for a good cause.

The brand-new Dalhousie Cancer Awareness and Research Society (DCARS) is hosting its first charity golf tournament on Saturday, September 8 at the Lost Creek Golf Club.

A golf tournament is a slight deviation from the standard student fundraiser formula, but “I wanted to do something different,” explains DCARS founder Matthew Foss. He’s also a fan of the sport. “I do golf, but I haven’t been out much in the last couple of years.”

Mr. Foss is a combined honours student at Dalhousie—he studies (it’s a mouthful) “Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Chemistry”—and a recipient of the Victor Hertzman Prize and the Kilmer MacMillan Memorial Book Prize.

But most relevant to the issue at hand: Mr. Foss was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2010. He started DCARS in May of this year, when his most recent round of radiation treatments finished.

The 2012/2013 academic year will be DCARS’s first as an active student society, but membership is already strong: over 25 members are listed on the society’s website. Mr. Foss hopes to see the fledgling society both participate in established events such as Run For The Cure and Relay For Life and establish new events of its own – a lecture series, perhaps.

But “the initial goal right now is to raise enough money to assign a Student Cancer Research Scholarship.” The scholarship will be awarded to a student interested in pursuing cancer research as a primary career; Mr. Foss hopes to set its value at around six thousand dollars.

The rest of the society’s plans for the 2012/2013 year are still in genesis. “We’ve just started discussing the process… nothing’s been set in stone yet.”

A constant feed of “Cancer in the News” articles runs on a sidebar on the DCARS website: recent headlines such as “Laser Maps and Zaps Cancer Tumors”, “New Method for Identifying Lung Modules”, and “Blood Test Could Guide Treatment for Kidney Cancer” hint that science is finding new ways to combat cancer every day. With community support, DCARS hopes to fuel medical advances and student activism for a long time to come.

You can sign up for the golf tournament on DCARS’s website. And even if you haven’t swung a club in a while (or ever), you don’t need to worry about being outplayed by veterans; tournament play is set up for fun. “It’s a scramble – whoever’s ball is best off the tee is where you play the next ball,” Mr. Foss explains. The event will also feature awards for “longest drive” and “closest to the pin.’


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