Antonietta Dalia: Nursing a Change


Dalia (standing in the middle) and other members of Colleges Against Cancer (CAC) at 2015’s Relay for Life kickoff event. Photo courtesy of Antonietta Dalia.

JAMES MIRANDA, Sports Editor


When Pace sophomore Antonietta Dalia talked to her friend about what major she should take up going into college, she had no idea what nursing had in store for her.

The Poughkeepsie native came to college looking to find a niche and became active in Colleges Against Cancer (CAC), despite never being directly affected by cancer in any way. However, she does know what it is like for someone to be given a time limit.

Her father passed away last February due to a heart disease the day before she was asked to run for president of CAC. There was nothing downtrodden about the coincidence because she felt it was exactly what she needed.

“I felt like it happened for a reason,” Dalia said. “The timing of it [made me think] this is what I’m supposed to do to help me get through this. And ever since then it’s been the best decision I’ve ever made.”

She ran for president, was elected, and now oversees everything in CAC.

CAC just held its Relay for Life kickoff event in Gottesman Room of Kessel Student Center last Wed., Feb. 24. The preliminary event meant to educate about Relay for Life, which is on April 22—a 12-hour “fair” with activities to raise money for cancer patients and societies.

CAC raised $42,095 during last year’s Relay for Life and donated 100 percent to cancer societies. The monetary figure was not important to Dalia until she went to the Hope Lodge—a care center in Manhattan that houses and treats cancer patients for free.

“This patient spoke [at Hope Lodge] and said that the money that we raised affected her life personally and she said if it wasn’t for the money that Relay for Life raises, she wouldn’t have survived [cancer],” Dalia said. “That’s when it clicked that we’re making a difference in so many people’s lives.”

Dalia has experienced working with actual patients both with CAC and with her clinicals for class. Two times a week she works a six-hour shift at New York Presbyterian and Schnurmacher Center for Rehab and Nursing in White Plains. She deals with psychiatric and geriatrics, respectively.

The work with both groups is similar to her work with CAC. They are both eye-opening because the problems they go through make everything else seem so miniscule.

“Things that we go through, they’re nothing to complain about,” Dalia said. “They don’t compare to what these people battle. Everyday is like the worst day of their lives, yet we can complain about having a test. Similarly, [with cancer patients] there are people around them affected too and we’re helping them too.”

It is rewarding for her to bring joy to patients who need it. That is why she plans to become a nurse and plans on always being active with the American Cancer Society.

She came into college with a blind eye not knowing how tough nursing would be, but Dalia’s involvement with CAC opened her eyes to bigger things.