California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    AMA to Host Sunflower Drive for Sarah Girgis

    American Marketing Association is planning an event called “Grow 4 Girgis” to bring the happiness of sunflowers on campus in honor of Sarah Girgis, who would be a junior at California Lutheran University. Girgis was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, pseudomyogenic hemangioendothelioma, which is a soft-tissue tumor according to US National Library of Medicine, that affects her facial area. Because of this she has had to take the semester off in order to receive treatment.

    On Oct. 25 from 11a.m.-2:30 p.m. and Oct. 26 from 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m., AMA members will be on the spine selling sunflowers to raise money for Girgis. These sunflowers will be available for $3 a stem and all proceeds will go to Girgis and her family to help pay for treatment, including medications Doxrubicin, Ifosfamide and a recent trip to Houston according to her CaringBridge blog page.

    “The main reason we’re doing sunflowers is because Sarah resembles a sunflower in everyone’s life because she’s so bright and inspiring and just a strong individual,” Talia Van Wingerden, president of AMA and friend of Girgis, said.

    According to the club directory, AMA focuses on creating a community of marketing students on campus and allowing them to learn marketing from experience and special guests.

    “The students have been planning the event since the beginning of the semester.  The students in the AMA Club are using a multifaceted marketing approach including HUB, CALLU_AMA Instagram, print fliers and tabling during the event,” Assistant Business Professor Sarah Fischbach, the club’s adviser, said in an email interview.  

    Girgis was very involved on campus. She ran cross country and was a captain her sophomore year. She also gave tours as a Presidential Host and worked at Starbucks. According to those who knew her, she has been described as a light to this campus who was always smiling.

    “She was just this friendly bubble constantly there, this was true genuine kindness that she always had” sophomore Kylie Rodriguez, her cross country teammate, said.

    She began to have the pain in the right upper side of her face and was diagnosed in May 2016, the second semester of her sophomore year.

    “CLU has an amazing way of circling around its purple and gold family and I am blessed that this is the university I attend,” Girgis said in an email interview.

    Raising money is a goal of this event, but more importantly to Van Wingerden is to raise awareness for Girgis and her situation. Girgis actively posts on her blog page on about her journey and treatments.

    “She’s such a ray of sunshine and before she got diagnosed she was so involved, however the diagnosis has made everyone more aware. We want to raise enough money to contribute to her treatment and help people realize how amazing of a person she is,” Van Wingerden said.

    Her family recently had a GoFundMe that raised around $31,000 which overshot their goal of $20,000. All money will help assuage the cost of treatment. AMA wanted this money to have a personal connection, regardless of the amount raised.

    “We were going to do an organization but we want it to be personal and have it come from her community. This won’t be a huge chunk of money however it is raising awareness and will mean more for her and her family,” Van Wingerden said.  

    Girgis has maintained a positive outlook in life even through the tough situation she is experiencing.

    “Faith is cumulative too. This new evil duo may be harder than my old chemo, but God is more stubborn than any drug they pump in my veins. I get to see His work everyday in the hospital and talk with strangers and pray over new friends and I can feel my reliance on God not only growing, but was blessed from day 1 with an outlook that was only positive, because of Him,” Girgis said on her blog.

    “She brings positive energy to everything around her. She’s very driven and determined and when something like that happens it’s just like a rip curl to everyone else… It was almost like I wasn’t surprised she had such a positive outlook even though this terrible thing is happening to her,” Rodriguez said.

    Make sure to visit the spine in order to get a flower and contribute to a good cause.

    Anissa Fraijo
    Staff Writer