New life, greater opportunities

February 4, 2010 by Shannon Otrowsky NMSU Round Up

Cancer survivor scholarships available to New Mexico students

The American Cancer Society is giving students who have won the fight against cancer an opportunity to restart their journey on a road to success.

For up to $2,500 a year, the Cancer Survivor College Scholarship Program is available to cancer survivors who were diagnosed before the age of 21 and age 25 and younger.

John Weisgerber, Regional Communications Manager of the American Cancer Society, said the scholarships can help ease the burden of a young cancer survivor’s past hardships to pursue higher education dreams.

“With tuition rising, this scholarship can help both financially and emotionally as well,” Weisgerber said. “There are not many opportunities like this, so former cancer patients should definitely apply.”

Weisberger recalled one applicant who graduated from Sandia High School in Albuquerque and now attends college in California. Weisberger said he believes this scholarship program played a major part in the student being able to attend college outside of New Mexico.

The American Cancer Society offers other programs for patients, such as Cancer Resource Centers, which provide information to family members and friends about support tactics and proper healthcare check-ups.

Weisberger said a major issue in New Mexico is it is difficult to obtain proper healthcare insurance, making it a challenge to access suitable cancer screenings.

“Detecting cancer in its earlier stages make a huge difference,” Weisberger said, “so getting checked often is recommended.”

Applicants for this scholarship program have until Feb. 26 to apply, so Weisberger also recommended acting quickly.

“We had 14 applicants last year, and this year we hope to see more,” Weisberger said.

Application packets and further information can be obtained by calling 866-500-3272 or 1-800-ACS-2345.

Shannon Ostrowsky is a staff writer and can be reached at

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