MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A fund that benefits cancer patients at West Virginia University’s Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center is more than $5,000 richer thanks to a group of Morgantown women and three student organizations at WVU.
The gift to the Cancer Center’s Comfort Fund came about as a result of several fundraisers the women held to participate in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure Walk in Washington, D.C., this September. 
Tina Bland, Ph.D., an alumna of WVU, who became a team captain for the 60-mile walk that raises funds and awareness to fight breast cancer, and three of her friends – Reva Halloran, Lora Prosko and Teresa Pyle – formed a team named 2CEMGROW (to see them grow), and each had to raise $2,300 to participate in the walk. 
As part of their fundraising efforts, Bland and her team partnered with WVU through Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and two student organizations representing the WVU Department of Community Medicine and the School of Nursing to sell Mountaineer T-shirts.    
“The shirts were so popular that our team was able to pay most of our entry fees for the Komen Walk and make a donation to the Comfort Fund at the Cancer Center,” Bland said. “In addition to the national cause, we wanted to help the local community too. We thought we could touch a lot of people through this fund, which we believe provides little acts of kindness.”
The Comfort Fund was established to provide temporary, short-term financial assistance for Cancer Center patients until they can be linked with appropriate community, state or national resources.
Bland and her teammates have already kicked off their next fundraising campaign to participate in the 2012 Komen Walk in Philadelphia, with plans to donate any residual funds to help cancer patients receiving treatment at the Cancer Center. 
When their current supply of Mountaineer T-shirts runs out, they plan to restock, possibly with a fresh design for 2012. 
Bland said she’s preparing for the challenge of walking 20 miles a day, even though the event took a toll on her feet the first time around. 
“If the money can help advance science just a little bit, then I can put up with the blisters,” she said.
For shirts or to join team 2CEMGROW as a walker, crew member or sponsor, contact Bland at 304-276-7399 or

Photo identifications: (left to right) Teresa Pyle; Gail VanVoorhis, WVU School of Nursing; Reva Halloran; Tina Bland; and Latoya Vineyard, Alpha Kappa Alpha graduate advisor. Not pictured are Lora Prosko and Toni Morris, WVU Department of Community Medicine.
For more information: Amy Johns, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
ss: 01-06-12