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A Success Story - Zachary Bellavance

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Zachary Bellavance 

Zach has graduated from the University of Southern Maine in Gorham, Maine, in 2011 majoring in Business Administration. Zach's experience with cancer allowed him to mature well beyond his years and showed him a previously hidden passion for music.  He has survived Hypothalamic Astrocytoma (Brain Tumor).  In his own words:

“In February of 2002, I was diagnosed with a hypothalamic astrocytoma, which is the medical term for a cancerous brain tumor in the center of the brain.  Many people act shocked when I first tell them, probably because if I never told them, they would never be able to guess.  I was also scared when I first found out that I had cancer, which I knew little about at the age of thirteen. After 14 months of chemotherapy, my treatment was over and my tumor had stopped growing.  So, the official battle was over, but that did not come without learning many new things about myself.

My life values were greatly changed through my battle with cancer.  I always had a fairly strong set of values, but my battle with cancer made me realize things that I had not noticed before.  I noticed that I was more mature after my battle with caner.  It had helped me to realize that many of the things people my age were dealing with were not really that important, and that acting like a kid was becoming less and less appealing.  I also made many new friends, and the quality of friends I was looking for was set to a higher standard.

My career goals have also been changed by my experience with cancer.  Before I had cancer, I had absolutely no idea of what I wanted to do with my life.  However, while going through chemo, I decided that I wanted to learn to play the keyboard which would give me something to do in my free time,  After eight months, I decided it was not for me.  Afterwards, however, I decided to play the bass guitar, which I still play today.  This applies to my career goals because my experience with music has taught me that I would love to run a business that involves my knowledge of business, and my passion for music. 

I am very excited that I have been awarded one of the scholarships from the Cancer Survivors' Fund.  I am very grateful for all of the help I am receiving that will help me to pay for college.  Receiving this scholarship will surely help me to reach my goals of being a marketing director, or owning my own business.  Thank you so much Cancer Survivors' Fund.”

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