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Des Fights Cancer

You can count Des Fights Cancer among SAIT's Centennial 100 projects. The "Des" in question is School of Business graduate and 2012 Outstanding Young Alumnus, Desmond Nwaerondu. He started Des Fights Cancer to raise funds for cancer charities. The event also raises awareness of cancer as both a risk to peoples' lives and to survivors' financial wellbeing.  This is the seventh edition of his annual fundraiser which has already raised $45,000.

"I was happy to register the event with the SAIT 100 Projects Project," says Nwaerondu who works as a wealth advisor for Sun Life Financial. "It's a way of identifying the event with SAIT and also shows off all the great projects SAIT supporters are organizing in the community. It adds fuel to the fire and encourages people to get involved in projects or even start their own."

In the past, Des Fights Cancer has raised money for the Alberta Cancer Foundation and the Calgary Health Trust - Cancer Ward. It is supporting an additional organization this year — Survive and Thrive, a support group for cancer survivors, their families and care givers. Nwaerondu, board-chair for the organization, says Survive and Thrive arranges programs and retreats where survivors network and share their experiences and information. It also runs adventure trips such as canoeing on Lake Superior and rafting in the Grand Canyon. "The trips provide respite and opportunities for new experiences for cancer survivors. They're active fun events that help take their minds off their long cancer journey," says Nwaerondu. 

This year's Des Fights Cancer Gala on March 10, 2017 will include a silent auction, refreshments and music. The goal is to raise $15,000.

As well as organizing the cancer fundraiser, Nwaerondu volunteers his time for a number of good causes. He's travels internationally to help build houses for Habitat for Humanity, he teaches financial literacy skills to immigrants and he has offered advice and counsel to SAIT as a part of SAIT's Financial Services Committee.

SAIT Centennial 100 Projects Project

The SAIT Centennial 100 Projects Project is an initiative put together in honour of SAIT's 100th birthday. The goal is to rally students, employees, friends and partners of SAIT to take on 100 charitable projects before spring 2017. If you have a project that you've been a part of throughout the year, register it at sait.ca/100 or volunteer with one of the upcoming SAIT-led projects. 

Written by Eric Rosenbaum

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