Mason community raises funds for rare cancer research in memory of classmate

Dedication to scholarship, community, and the desire to make a positive difference in the lives of others is the foundation of principled leadership and the cornerstone of the educational experience at William & Mary’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business. Personifying this spirit, members of Mason’s 2016 graduating class recently organized a Cycle for Survival team on behalf of their friend and classmate Zach Faison who lost his battle to Adult T Cell Leukemia last January. Zach would have graduated this year.

Held May 1 at One Life Fitness in Virginia Beach, Team Zach was organized by Mason School Flex MBA graduate Allyson Sweet ‘16 to raise funds for rare cancer research at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Allyson, along with students and staff from the Mason community, completed a 4-hour, high-energy indoor cycling ride while instructors and cheerleaders provided music and encouragement to help them make it to the finish. “The event was amazing,” Allyson said. “During breaks we had the opportunity to talk to cancer survivors who had received treatment from Sloan Kettering. It was emotional but also uplifting to hear about the advancements being made because of events like this.”

According to Mark A. U. Rosenfield, Organizing Committee Member for the Cycle for Survival Virginia Beach event, 100 percent of the donations received will be used exclusively for pioneering research into leukemia, lymphoma, ovarian, pediatric cancers, and other uncommon forms of the disease. “We raised over $250,000 and provided all participants a tangible way to fight back against these rare cancers,” he said.