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Junior reaches out in fight against cancer

Myriam Cohen is doing her part to assist children living with cancer.

Cohen has formed a campus chapter of Team Sunrise, which raises money for Sunrise Day Camp, the nation’s only day camp for kids ages 3-16 with cancer.

“It’s a cause that everyone knows about and everyone understands,” said the 20-year-old junior from Queens. “And every child should have the chance to experience a day camp.”

Sunrise Day Camp, located in Wheatley Heights, Long Island, is offered for free to children being treated for cancer. Cohen first learned of the camp last year when she saw a table for it during a Hillel café night. Cohen’s grandfather had succumbed to the disease during her freshman year.

“Cancer has been a big part of the way I’ve thought about medicine,” said Cohen, who is a double major in biology and English. “I didn’t know the amount of children with cancer in the U.S. until I did research. All of that brought out the desire to do something to help cancer patients.”

The group recently held its first meetings and is planning a fundraising event for later this semester. Team Sunrise will also expand its reach, Cohen said, by promoting cancer awareness and prevention on campus and aiding cancer patients in the community and at local hospitals.

Cohen also serves as a Discovery Adviser in Cayuga Hall, a student general board member for Chabad and has worked with the student ambassador program.

“She’s just genuinely compassionate about her peers and her fellow students,” said Scott Bennett, assistant director of the Discovery Program.

Cohen hopes to remain active with children and medicine after graduation by pursuing a career in pediatrics.

“I’ve always been intrigued by childhood medicine and the idea of following a child through the various life cycles,” said Cohen, who spent the winter break as a research assistant at New York Hospital Queens. “I think it would be helpful to a community to have someone who could do that general care.”

Cohen wants to remain in the state for medical school and her career. She has a connection to New York, having moved to Queens from Morocco in 1997.

“As an immigrant, I feel like where I landed is where I owe the most,” she said. “I feel like I owe New York for everything it’s given to me.”

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Last Updated: 10/14/08