November 9, 2011 | by City of Hope Staff
As a youngster in Orange County, Calif., Craig Pollard dreamed of playing baseball for the Los Angeles Dodgers. When he was 15, Hodgkin lymphoma altered his plans. After he underwent chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, the disease subsided, but then recurred when he was 19. Pollard underwent a successful bone marrow transplant at City of Hope and went on to attend business school at the University of Southern California. As a senior, Pollard created a business plan for a future charity he envisioned called “Cancer for College” that would provide scholarships to patients whose families were financially strapped.
That dream came true. Today the organization holds a variety of events to support the scholarships, including a Cancer for College golf tournament and comedy show hosted by comedian Will Ferrell, Pollard’s former fraternity brother. This year, the group was able to fund 80 new scholarships to patients like City of Hope’s Kristen Tuason, who wants to become a nurse.
Cancer during teen and young adult years is rare — one in every 333 children will develop a malignancy by age 20 — but its effects are long-lasting. Young adults with cancer often face financial difficulties, making college scholarships like Tuason’s an important boost.