One Student’s Personal Mission Through Colleges Against Cancer

Photo Courtesy of

Photo Courtesy of

Sean Browne, Editor in Chief

Noelle McCullough woke every morning not knowing if her grandmother had made it through the night.

In the Summer of 2003 when McCullough was just six-years-old she was told crushing news about her maternal grandmother.

“My maternal grandmother had stage four melanoma,” said McCullough, who participated in Wednesday’s Bra Pong in the Kessel Student Center. “It’s the most aggressive skin cancer you can get.”

Her grandmother’s condition always left McCullough is a constant state of fear, not knowing what was going to happen to her next.

“I did not know as much about cancer, so my first thought was that she was going to die,” McCullough said. “I did not know what I was going to do without her and that is just a terrible feeling.”

Trips to the hospital were always the worst for McCullough, feeling as though she was helpless as her grandmother suffered.

“Visiting her in the hospital is something that I would never wish on anybody to be honest,” McCullough said. “Just seeing someone in that state and knowing that you can’t help her was just terrible, those are images that I will never forget in my life.”

It was at that moment McCullough realized that she did not want to feel helpless anymore. She started participating in charity events for cancer along with her family.

When McCullough came to Pace in the fall, the first thing she did was join Colleges Against Cancer, a chapter dedicated to eliminating cancer by implementing programs from the American Cancer Society.

“Being a part of this club has been such a great decision for me,” McCullough said. “We bring so many people together who do not know much about cancer to educate them, as well as getting donations.”

However, McCullough was again told crushing news, this time from another grandparent. She found out that her paternal grandmother was diagnosed with cancer of the adrenal gland just a couple of weeks ago.

But thanks to her time in Colleges Against Cancer, McCullough was not about to feel like a frightened child who could not do anything.

“Thanks to my knowledge of cancer I could fully understand what was going on,” McCullough said. “I said to myself, ‘she’s going to have surgery and she is going to be fine.’ So being in the club has educated me so much more.”

In addition to her education, McCullough is just glad that she can help contribute to fighting cancer from hosting “Bra Pong” in Kessel to participating in Relay for Life, she doesn’t care as long as she contributing to help fight cancer.

Next April, McCullough will take part in organizing a Relay for Life at Pace, and she can already count on two people making the trip to Pleasantville.