D’Youville Professor Donates Skills and Services to Help Teen Girls Who Have Cancer
Buffalo, New York – August 17, 2016 – Dr. Lauren Nicholas, assistant professor of Sociology at D’Youville College, was the author of a grant request to the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation Fund for Cancer Care designed to support nonprofit organizations that assist cancer patients and their families by providing the emotional care and supportive services so critical at the time of diagnosis, both during treatment and during recovery.
Dr. Nicholas donated her grant writing skills and services resulting in a $7500 grant to Kaely’s Kindness Foundation, based in Orchard Park, and an anonymous donor matched the Wilson Foundation grant for a total of $15,000.
The foundation provides emotional, physical and psychological support for teen girls with cancer as well as ensuring that, despite their diagnosis, "the girls can continue to lead their young lives with all the normal activities as their peers." It is the only organization in Western New York whose mission is to provide outreach to teen girls with cancer.
"The project will provide specialized cancer care to 15 teen girls within the community by providing a social support network and treatment-related health education," Dr. Nicholas said. "Research has shown that adolescents and young adults are more prone to depression due to disruptions in their developmental trajectory."
The grant will be used for a seven-week workshop that will include instructor-guided lessons that encourage active participation. "These lessons will teach the girls about things like eating right; self-motivation; the promotion of healthy emotional responses; meditation; and life mapping," Dr. Nicholas said. "During this experience, the girls will also remain in direct and continual contact with their peers who are facing similar challenges. The girls will leave with the knowledge and tools already in hand to help them take control and promote better self-health."
Kaely’s Kindness Foundation was established after 16-year-old Kaely Kwitek, an Orchard Park High School student at the time, was diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma, a relatively uncommon type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that arises from T-cells.
"DYC faculty members are deeply committed to the College’s core values as they pertain to community service and caring for our greater community," Dr. Nicholas said. "Grant writing has the ability to help others … and is an example of sociology in action. Writing for grant money to offset inequality of care is just one example of (medical) sociology at work."
Dr. Nicholas is a trustee of the West Seneca Board of Education and also a youth soccer coach in her community. She is an honors graduate of Hilbert College and earned her master’s and doctorate degrees from the University at Buffalo.