UT Stays “Up ‘Til Dawn” For Charity

Shortly before Thanksgiving Break, one of UT’s newest organizations presented its own rendition of giving. “Up ‘Til Dawn” redefined charity as UT knows it.

Staffed mainly by members of P.E.A.C.E., the event’s goal was to raise funding for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, but in a unique way.

According to Krysten Loielo P.E.A.C.E. volunteer students were asked to sign up as a team of five or more and write letters to those whom they knew would likely make donations to St. Jude.

In the spirit of friendly competition, the team who raised the most money will get a prize at the end of the semester.

A variety of UT sororities and fraternities were in attendance.

“I felt it would be a good cause to participate and the money is going towards research for cancer,” said Sabina Bien – Aime, member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Five members of the Vaughn Center Activities Team put their time to good use as well.

“We like to get involved on campus as much as possible and this is a good cause,” said the members. “We are aiming to send out 50 letters, but I believe we have already exceeded our quota.” The members are active in other areas at UT – serving as hall councils for the residence halls.

Several events took place throughout the course of the evening, including a cancer survivor who made it thanks to the help of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Ryan Pasecky, now a senior at Newsome High School in Hillsborough County, was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in the fifth grade. St. Jude Hospital developed the treatment for his cancer.

“The chemo that other hospitals used usually causes hearing loss at a later age and it’s harsh on your heart,” said Pasecky. “It basically shortens your life.”

According to Pasecky, the positive thing about St. Jude is that they developed a newer treatment without severe side effects such as hearing loss.

Upon finishing the process of developing the chemo treatment, St. Jude plans to let other hospitals use it.

“I stopped using chemo in September 2001. It’s been five years now, so technically I am cured. It’s been a big milestone, but the treatments from St. Jude saved my life,” said Pasecky.

Ironically, St. Jude is more of a research hospital than a treatment center. They are constantly creating more protocol allowing them to treat different types of cance,r hence one of the reasons why donations are always appreciated.

New treatment centers are being built on a continuous basis and money is needed to keep the hospital operating.

“As of now it costs $1 million to run St. Jude Children’s Hospital on a daily basis,” said Pasecky.

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