Take That: Meet King’s Takes on Cancer and Their President, Laura Sahyoun

Welcome back to yet another semester at KCL! Deadlines and exams should be on hold… for now… so what will you do now that you’re back around on campus? Why not join us in a New Years’ Resolution to participate and be more active within your local King’s community?

Here’s one of King’s lesser known fundraising groups you can be involved with – King’s Takes on Cancer. This year’s society President, Laura Sahyoun was able to give us an interview to discuss more about the society and the amazing work they do. Check it out below!

 

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What does King’s Takes on Cancer do?

King’s Takes on Cancer aims at fundraising for cancer research and raising awareness about the issue. For now, all the money we fundraise goes to Cancer Research UK, as we are their representatives on campus.

This is the society’s second year and I am really proud of what we have achieved so far. Last year, we gained more than 500 signatures, raised more than £3000 without any external sponsors, created an online donation platform, organised various events on and off campus, and volunteered in some of Cancer Research UK’s national events!

Due to the society’s success within the student body, CRUK has decided to open a new student-led campaign allowing students across UK universities to get involved. This year, I have a big committee that has been established, made up of amazingly creative and kind people doing their best to make this year the best it can possibly be. We have also got a much stronger support from CRUK, following our progress every step of the way.

 

How and why did you get involved with the society?

I have always wanted to start my own campaign against cancer even back in Lebanon, my hometown. This whole idea came from my personal experience with cancer; a disease that has affected many of my close family and friends. When I came to King’s - a university with plenty of resources and opportunities - it was much easier for me to create my own association and have my own impact through the big student community.

What is something everyone needs to know about KTOC?

Anyone can join KTOC, it is not a medics-only society as some of our current members previously thought. Everyone is really friendly and motivated which makes the work that needs to be done more enjoyable. Having not been established for that long a time, [the society] is an opportunity for anyone who wants to be part of a core group of students manage a growing society with high potential.

 

Are there any current projects KTOC are working on?

Yes! We have been working on a Blood Donation Initiative, alongside a cancer survivor/doctor/King’s Alumni. This campaign has already started with donation spots in ten other cities around the world (including locations in the Middle East, the UK and the US) where they promote donating blood [specifically for] a current cancer patient. The next donation spot is hopefully planned to be within our very own university, seen as an extremely symbolic message from the student community.

 

Any future plans for the society?

One of the long term goals we hope to achieve is to expand our network of volunteers/fundraisers. How? By reaching out to other universities in London and working all together for a common campaign: “Universities of London Take on Cancer”. We are already working on this initiative and you should hopefully see its first steps this year!

 

How can fellow King’s students get involved with KTOC?

Anyone who wants to get involved can just leave us a message on our Facebook/Instagram (@ktoc_society) page or contact me personally. They will also need to get their (free) membership from the KCLSU website. Join us!

We have a much longer list of events planned from January onwards, and we really hope to target more and more people to make this society grow within King’s. We’re dreaming big and need as many people as possible to make our projects happen.