In a small classroom located in the basement level of the Student Services Building, Megan Stanfield has found her niche amongst a dozen other female students that together comprise the ColorCancer Texas Chapter.
Hubbub. The sounds that flood the room composed of discussion, tossing ideas back and forth and good-hearted laughter all in anticipation for their upcoming event. It’s chaotic.
Stanfield speaks. Her assertive yet soft voice captures the attention of all of the young women as she starts the meeting. It’s time for serious business.
As president of ColorCancer TX Chpt., Megan, a kinesiology and health promotion major, leads the meeting by relaying the status on their donation collections and sponsorships that will fund their biggest event to date, ColorCancer Texas Benefit Concert: “Sounds of Colors.”
“ColorCancer is a pending 501C3 nonprofit organization that was started last summer by two UT students,” said Stanfield. “Basically they had two separate projects, Preston Nix and Jillian Domingue, met here on campus and turned them into something much bigger, that’s how ColorCancer came about.”
The affects of cancer see no boundaries. Every cancer has a color. Every color has a story. The stories that surround those colors gave ColorCancer their name. The mission of ColorCancer TX Chpt. brings the community together to spread awareness, offer hope and encouragement, and support local cancer related causes.
“In order for us to accomplish our goals we decided to start a student organization which is ColorCancer Texas Chapter, ideally we want other universities to start chapters of their own,” said Stanfield.
Stanford University and The University of Wisconsin Madison have reached out to ColorCancer and are in the works of creating their own branch.
“It’s awesome because our main purpose is to help educate the public and to bring everyone together,” said Stanfield. “By having other universities do the same things we are doing, it’s going to help us so much more.”
Even though she is in charge she maintains a conversational flow throughout meeting, putting the girls at ease to chatter amongst themselves freely. You would think they had been friends for years, instead of only a few months.
“I just got to know Megan when I joined this semester. She allows us the freedom to run with our ideas and work on projects that we feel ColorCancer should get involved with,” said Nicole Woodbury, UT Austin junior and public health major. “She really values our opinions and ideas and keeps us on track with everything.”
“We have a bigger team this year. We’ve expanded from three to 13, so hopefully in the upcoming future we’ll have even more,” said Stanfield.
ColorCancer Day is an annual community event put on in the fall that accomplishes therapeutic and educational tactics. In order to fund the event, ColorCancer TX Chpt. is putting on their first annual benefit concert May 3.
The concert offers a fun and exciting way for Austinites to get involved! The goal is to raise $5,000 to benefit the annual ColorCancer Day 2012 and the Go Mitch Go Foundation, which funds research for childhood cancers. For a mere $7, attendees will enjoy live music, record paintings, yummy Noodles & Company (yes there will be free food), and can purchase ColorCancer shirts.
You can buy a shirt in just about any hue you can imagine! And the colors correspond to the respective types of cancers. So whether your favorite color is Periwinkle, Teal or Peach, ColorCancer has you covered.
“My duties day in and day out focus on the event we’re working towards,” said Stanfield. “Primarily, I am the middleman between the parent nonprofit, ColorCancer.”
“As well, I work with other groups on campus like Texas 4000, Colleges Against Cancer, and Camp Kesem. I am in constant communication with those organizations, seeing what they are doing and how we can help. It’s a lot of communicating,” said Stanfield.
Both Megan’s uncle and aunt passed away from pancreatic cancer. Her passion stirred from a strong connection with the people that started the organization, who also suffered mutual losses of both friends and family.
“We worked together to put on a memorial service and video for a student that recently passed away from Esophageal Cancer. The most rewarding experience was meeting his mother directly afterwards,” said Stanfield.
“Just being there and seeing how excited and supportive she was really showed that we are all in this fight together and having a support system like that is crucial,” said Stanfield.
ColorCancer TX Chpt. accepts new members every fall. Collegiettes not looking to join can volunteer at events and spread the word about their current projects. For more information students should visit their Facebook page and website.
“She absolutely goes out of her way to help others. Megan puts her heart and soul into this organization with the intent to make a difference and help those who are being affected by cancer,” said Nicole.
HCTX: So are you stressed all of the time?
M: My idea of stress is definitely different from the typical person. Yes!