Summer is one of our favorite times at The Valerie Fund because we get to welcome our summer interns. This year we welcome Olivia to learn what goes into preparing events and fundraising in the autumn - even more exciting this year with the Walk & 5K moved to September 25th! Come meet Olivia and find out what brought her to The Valerie Fund.
Position / Title?
When did you start?
I started interning with The Valerie Fund in June 2021
Where did you grow up?
Westfield, New Jersey
Where do you study/go to college?
I spent one semester at the University of Maryland, one year at Union County College, and I will be starting at Rutgers University this coming Fall.
What is your educational history before joining The Valerie Fund?
I majored in journalism while at The University of Maryland and plan on majoring in either journalism or English at Rutgers.
What brought you to The Valerie Fund?
I was treated for Ewing’s sarcoma at the Valerie Center in Morristown Hospital in 2017/2018. During one of my visits to the Valerie Center, I met Bunny Flanders, the Director of Marketing and Communications for TVF. We got to talking and she sparked my interest in potentially working with her as a speaker at different events in the coming year throughout my treatment. Since then, I have written a series of blog posts for TVF website, have spoken on CBS This Morning, and given speeches at our annual Baltursrol Golfing Event as well as the Thanksgiving Ball Gala. Although several years have passed since I was in active treatment at the Valerie Center and doing this work with The Valerie Fund, I have always deeply cared for the foundation and the people who are a part of it. So, when I was searching for an internship earlier this Summer, my first hope was that The Valerie Fund would have me on so that I could get real work experience for a cause so close to my heart.
What are some of the goals you hope to achieve while working at The Valerie Fund?
> Amplify young adult cancer patient and survivor voices
> Recruit high schools to the Walk/5k
> Raise awareness for childhood cancer
What is your favorite book/movie/television series?
My favorite movie is currently Midsommar
What has been the biggest adventure/most exciting moment of your life?
A few months after finishing cancer treatment I traveled alone to Europe and went backpacking through 7 different countries with a group of strangers! I landed in Berlin, Germany and ended up in Venice, Italy. Looking back, I am so amazed at how my body was able to do all of that walking and traveling with very little sleep so soon after finishing cancer treatment. It was definitely a trip to remember!
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Besides spending time with my friends and going on mini day trips with them, I absolutely love spending time with my dog, Millie! She took care of me throughout my cancer treatment and is an absolute angel. I love her so much.
What has been your favorite vacation you’ve been on?
For my Make-A-Wish, I went on a Tanzanian safari with my parents and siblings. Seeing such beautiful animals in their natural habitat (where they belong) was exhilarating and such a privilege. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I am so grateful to have had.
If you were given a billion dollars, what are the first three things you would do?
First, I would donate to childhood cancer research funding—kids are worth way more than the 4% of federal funding they receive from the NCI. Second, I would adopt a bunch of adorable shelter dogs. Third, I would travel the world.
If you were to host a podcast or YouTube series, what would the topic(s) be?
Navigating your early twenties after cancer.
Which famous person (actor, writer, inventor, etc.), living or dead, would you most like to have dinner with and why?
Taylor Swift! She is such an amazing musician and lyricist and I would love to pick her brain about where she gets her inspiration from and also just get to know her as a person.
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