by Tori Newby ’22
Sophomore Emma Gross is one of four co-presidents of Stand Up 2 Cancer (SU2C), the Sherwood chapter of a global organization that raises money and awareness for scientific cancer research. Julianna Gross (‘19), Gross’ sister, began the club a year after they lost their father to stage four lung cancer. After Julianna graduated last spring, Emma assumed the responsibility as co-president of SU2C.
Gross was very young when her dad was diagnosed with cancer, which affected her entire life and is her motivation to continue SU2C. “It was really hard,” Gross said. “It’s hard to come home and your mom isn’t there because she’s at the hospital. My family was always stressed, and people didn’t really know how to talk to me, and some people didn’t even know and they just talked to me about my dad.”
Gross wants this club to be both an outlet for students that went through similar experiences and a way to give all students the ability to contribute. For teens, Gross believes SU2C is a great opportunity to make a positive impact on a large scale.
SU2C organizes fundraisers and other events to raise money for cancer research, as well as directly helping cancer victims. For the last two years, members of Sherwood’s SU2C have gone to a local cancer patient’s house and fixed up the family’s lawn. “It’s really rewarding to see how happy they are,” Gross said.
Gross’ hope for this year is to expand the club’s membership. The more people involved in SU2C, the more events they can host, and the more money they can raise. In previous years, while many people have shown up to the biweekly lunch meetings, less than a dozen actually attended the events. Last year, the co-presidents attempted to organize a dance-athon to raise money, but not enough people helped out so they were unable to make the event happen. However, the turnout at this school year’s first meeting was almost double that of previous years, so the officers have high hopes.
In addition to restaurant fundraisers and yard work, SU2C is excited to announce they will be hosting a spring festival at the Olney Theatre. The event will be community-wide, and will include live music, food, t-shirt tye-dying, and more. “If this actually works, it will be so fun,” Gross said.