This week was one of the busiest weeks I have had since joining the team at the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. I have been out drumming up support for UCF and letting people know about the awesome work we are doing.
We talk a lot about the young adults we serve that are currently fighting their personal battles with cancer. This week, I want to highlight an individual that is not who we normally think of as a young adult fighting cancer, but is definitely a young adult affected by cancer. You don’t have to have cancer to be affected by cancer; Which is why it is our mission to help transform the lives of those affected by cancer by supporting, educating and connecting young adults, and their loved ones, affected by cancer.
I was honored to attend the awards ceremony at Hammond High School with Brock to award the Evan Nicholson Memorial Scholarship to Corinne Zahlis. Corinne was selected by the Nicholson family as the Howard County resident who “best demonstrates moral courage and the strength and vision to persevere; not only in the face of cancer, but also in pursuing their own educational and professional goals- as Evan did in his life.” In January 2008, Corinne lost her 10 year old brother suddenly and tragically to an acute lymphoblastic leukemia. A lot of families would crumble under this type of loss, but both Corinne and her younger sister Audrey have risen in the face of this tragedy and if anything, become more driven to change the world!
Brock and I sat in the front row for the whole ceremony and were amazed that Corinne was on the stage 4 or 5 times total, receiving recognition for her many academic achievements. Not only this, but she just won the County Tennis championship for singles and played in the State finals, hoping to win, but also hoping to make it to graduation on time (She made it to graduation on time). Corinne and her sister Audrey recruited a team of almost 50 teenagers called the Zahlis Zoo that will participate in next week’s Relay for Life, benefiting the American Cancer Society. Both girls have been heavily involved with this organization for the past 3 years, chairing committees and recruiting more people to get involved with the fight against cancer.
We have invited the Zahlis family to our Screw Cancer Brew Hope event so we can recognize Corinne more formally with a presentation of her scholarship. We hope you can come and join us as we celebrate Corinne’s success and toast the Zahlis family as they continue to celebrate Dominic’s life. You may also see her sister around at our events as she will be my intern for her senior year of high school!