Swimmer Joelle Milov '09 has a personal story that involves breast cancer, and she's happy to say it had a happy ending. This weekend, an organization she helped put together, Collegians For The Cure, will partner with the Susan G. Komen Foundation to sponsor a run on the Princeton University campus. She hopes the donations it produces will lead to more happy endings in the battle against breast cancer.
Milov, an Art and Archaeology major from Orlando, Fla., discussed the organization with GoPrincetonTigers.com the week leading up to the event.
How did you come up with the concept of "Collegians For The Cure" and is it set up along the model of another current organization?
I was our swim team’s community service coordinator last year. As such I was responsible for a number of our community outreach programs, such as Learn to Swim Week—a program where we offer free swim lessons to local children. In the past the swim team has participated in the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s annual Race for the Cure™, but we have been unable to attend the event in the past few years because of the date or location of the race. This year my
coach, Susan Teeter, approached me with an idea of running our own sort of breast cancer run. After bouncing ideas off one another about the project, I called the Komen Foundation to see if we could register the event with them. We were also simultaneously meeting with various administrators and deans at Princeton to discuss the feasibility of the project.
Do you have a personal connection to breast cancer?
I have always been passionate about cancer awareness, but my mother’s diagnosis my freshman year renewed by interest in projects such as the Komen Race for the Cure™. She is a survivor, and she will be running in the race in September.
Where will the walk be held, and how can people register for it?
The race will be held on September 13th (with a rain date of the 14th) on the tow path located on the bottom of Princeton’s campus. We will be offering two forms of registration. First, we encourage people to pre-register. This pre-registration option will be able to be accessed on the Outdoor Action (OA) homepage shortly. The first 300 people to pre-register will receive a free t-shirt. Those who pre-register still need to check in on the south lawn of Frist on the day of the race to receive their t-shirt and make their donation. On-site registration will also be available on the 13th at the south lawn of Frist. The minimum donation fee for participating in the event is $5.
Why did you make this a University-wide project, as opposed to something just with the team or the athletic department?
I wanted the event to be a project that brings together the entire University community because I believe cancer awareness is something that is vitally important to all members of our campus. I think that the event will be more effective as an awareness campaign if our entire community participates—faculty, staff, and students.
With the name "Collegians for the Cure" as opposed to something just related to Princeton, are you hoping other campuses pick up on this?
It is my hope that other colleges and universities will adopt their own sort of Collegians for the Cure™ located on their respective campuses. I believe that runs/ walks located on campuses have the beneficial effect of both raising awareness and bringing together the university/college community.
Are people able to make donations if they can't be involved in the walk? How would they do it?
People can donate on September 13th at the south lawn of Frist without participating in the run/walk.
Who else has been instrumental in helping you put this together?
Luckily I have had help on this project. First, This project would not exist with Susan Teeter, who came up with the idea for a run/walk on our campus. Secondly, Dean Dickerson was able to secure a great amount of University support in a very short amount of time. Because of her I was able to meet with a great group of people who have been involved at almost every step of the planning. My teammates have also done an amazing job of publicizing and planning the event. Some of these people include representatives from Campus Recreational Athletics, the Graduate School, and Outdoor Action. Finally, a representative from the central New Jersey office of the Susan G. Komen foundation has helped me tremendously with various planning and administrative tasks.