Laurel Marcinkus | email@example.com
True bravery comes in many forms. UW-Parkside has educated a number of courageous students throughout the years, among them is Andrea Belding, perhaps the bravest of them all.
A true champion
On Oct. 13, 2014, Belding received a life threateningdiagnosis. It was confirmed that she had Non-Hodgkin’s Diffused Large B Cell Lymphoma, a cancer that starts in the white blood cells and compromises the immune system.
Starting that November, she received three rounds of Chemotherapy and 25 rounds of radiation. Each Chemotherapy session lasted up to 12 hours, exhausting Belding and testing her in ways she never could have imagined.
“This was an extremely hard time in my life,” she says., “When I look back on it, I am truly grateful that I had my family who were there for me when I needed them most.”
A lifesaving mission
Fortunately, Belding won her battle with cancer, proving to the world that she truly is a warrior. After the dust had settled, she received the Jamie L. Roberts Memorial Scholarship, an award given to students who have cared for sick family members or who have battled cancer themselves.
Team Seattle, a cycling crew that bikes across the country to raise scholarship money for cancer survivors, presented the prize to Belding. Belding said that each member of the crew had a unique story to share, as they had all fought a battle with cancer. Receiving such a prestigious scholarship from such influential people has inspired Belding to use her experience for good.
Later this month, she plans to host and run her own Bone Marrow Registry drive right here at UW-Parkside. By doing so, not only will she be bringing awareness to a worthy cause but she will also be saving countless lives in the process.
The concept of a bone marrow drive is simple, those who choose to participate will have the inside of their cheeks swabbed in order to see if they are eligible to donate bone marrow. However, participants who are a match are not required to donate. They may only do so if they choose.
The drive will run for two days: Nov. 14 from 1:00 p.m.to 3:30 p.m. and November 15 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The location for this drive will be none other than the Molinaro Bridge on campus. “If someone is a match then they could possibly save someone’s life,” Belding says. “That would be truly amazing!”
When all is said and done, this courageous woman has an admirable perspective. “I am so proud of everyone who has conquered this illness,” she expresses, “to overcome cancer and turn it into something positive is a blessing.”
Belding shows us that it is not the nature of our demons that define us, rather, it is how we choose to face them that make us who we are.