Sacred Heart Senior Inspired by Yroswell

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By Rachel Lim, RPCI Public Affairs Intern

It’s Friday afternoon, and school is out. One would typically expect most teenagers to instantly race to the malls, or to the movies—not to a cancer hospital. But at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI), a cheery, adolescent face brightens the medical scene.

Meet Jamie Schuh, 18, a senior at Sacred Heart Academy. She is part of the Yroswell Street Team, a network of young people who "hit the streets" in their communities and schools, advocating for cancer patients, building cancer awareness, and demonstrating by example the many ways young people can contribute to the cancer fight.

For Jamie, the fight is personal. “I wanted to get involved because my aunt had cancer, and she is in remission now,” she says.

An activity with Yroswell four years ago will be forever etched in Jamie’s memory. “My first event of the street team was the tree lighting, and I met a little cancer patient and she was just so cute!” Jamie recounted with a smile. “She was bald, and just the things she was telling us. She was so confident in herself, and she really inspired me to keep going with Roswell.”

And Jamie did. To date, she has helped educate her generation by spreading the Yroswell message at concerts, malls, fundraisers and even on the radio on KISS 98.5.

Likewise, Yroswell has helped Jamie grow as a person. “I’ve learned that everyone has their own way of giving back, and (they have) different views.  Everyone has a story to tell and you just have to listen to that story because you never know what you’re going to hear that’s going to impact you.”

Yroswell has also opened Jamie’s eyes to the world of healthcare, and she is now inspired to pursue a career in the field. This fall, Jamie is headed to Niagara University to study nursing.

“I chose nursing because I think it really is a first-hand experience. You get to know your patients. You’re doing a lot to help them, and (you can) just see their positive feedback, and watch them as they get better,” said Jamie. “Being part of the Yroswell Street Team has really made me confident that that is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”

So what is Jamie doing at RPCI on a Friday afternoon? She is there for her internship, a responsibility Yroswell has encouraged her to undertake. “I’m actually working now with the pediatric patients, just kind of getting more experience with nursing in general and just learning a lot,” says Jamie.

This is how Jamie fights for a world without cancer - for herself, for her family, for all of us.

And to all cancer patients, Jamie has this message: “I just would like to say that it might be a tough road, and I don’t know firsthand what you’re going through, but I’ve heard so many success stories, and if you stay strong and keep fighting, one day you’re going to be okay, and you’re going to be just as strong as you used to be.”