Thanks to students at Grafton High School, the Central Massachusetts community of Grafton knows about the dangers of stomach cancer, a leading cause of cancer deaths.
Organized by the school’s chapter of the National Honor Society, students conduct an annual Stomach Cancer Awareness Week in November, which the U.S. Senate recently designated Stomach Cancer Awareness Month.
Students create presentations, hand out ribbons, sell T-shirts and stickers and hold a raffle to raise funds for the nonprofit No Stomach For Cancer, a research and advocacy group.
The Honor Society members and their advisor, Marcia Pereira, extend their campaign to evening and weekend events. The football team wears the decals on their helmets.
Inspiring this surge of support is English teacher Beth Lambert, whose brother died from stomach cancer caused by a rare genetic mutation, CDH1, associated with cancers of the stomach, breast and colon. She and two siblings learned from genetic testing that they too shared the gene and underwent total prophylactic gastrectomies.
“With their creative campaign our students may be saving lives,” says Beth.