SAN ANTONIO (Oct. 22, 2014) — Local residents age 14 and older who are current cancer patients or are cancer survivors are invited to the first-ever Childhood Cancer College and Career Fair on Saturday, Nov. 1, at Café College, 131 El Paso St.
Attendees can visit information booths, hear presentations and attend a panel with patients sharing their experiences. Topics of the presentations include career assessments, disability services, financial aid, admissions and scholarships.
Organized by UT Kids San Antonio, The University of Texas at San Antonio, the American Cancer Society and the Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, the fair begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m. Nov. 1. Admission and parking are free.
Rocio V. Garcia, Ph.D., a psychologist with UT Kids San Antonio, which is the pediatric practice of the School of Medicine at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, said a career and college fair is needed for this special group of young people.
“Their lives have been interrupted by their cancer diagnosis and treatment, which can last several months to several years,” she said. “They often put their future goals on hold because they are concentrating on their treatment and on fighting for their lives.”
Dr. Garcia said a cancer diagnosis can have a significant effect on the child’s psychosocial wellbeing. “In our survivorship clinic, we have current patients telling us that they don’t know how or where to begin planning for their next step in education. Others are unsure what careers they want to pursue.”
The goal of this fair is to give high-school age and young adults options on what they can do next, she said. “There are so many options for them. Some may want to go to four-year colleges. Others might want to attend technical or vocation schools. They need to know that they can qualify for various services that could help them in school or in finding a career.”
These cancer patients and survivors need to be informed so they can make an educated decision on what path they want to take in their lives, Dr. Garcia said.
The fair is being supported by funds from an infrastructure grant from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation that was awarded to Greg Aune, M.D., Ph.D., a childhood cancer survivor, a St. Baldrick’s Scholar and a pediatric oncologist at the UT Health Science Center. The $50,000 infrastructure grant is designed to engage the community with the goal of enrolling more patients in the clinical trials and to address specific needs of this unique population in San Antonio and South Texas.
“This event is just one way we can help pediatric cancer survivors. They face many issues that the rest of the population does not have to deal with,” said Dr. Aune, who also recently received a $330,000 grant from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to fund his ground-breaking research into the long-term problems that lifesaving chemotherapy can cause in children.
Attendees are encouraged to register for the fair by contacting Marisol Fernandez at 210-567-7477 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
UT Kids San Antonio is the academic pediatric practice of the School of Medicine at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. With almost 100 pediatric physicians and surgeons – all faculty members of the Health Science Center’s School of Medicine – UT Kids™ San Antonio is the most experienced pediatric practice in Central and South Texas offering top-tier expertise in numerous medical specialties and subspecialties. Most major health plans are accepted. To find the pediatric specialist you need, visit UTKids.org.
The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is an emerging Tier One research institution specializing in health, energy, security, sustainability, and human and social development. With nearly 29,000 students, it is the largest university in the San Antonio metropolitan region. UTSA advances knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. The university embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property—for Texas, the nation and the world. www.utsa.edu