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W&L Faculty Participate in 200-Mile Relay to Raise Funds for Teenagers with Cancer

Friday and Saturday, Sept. 5 and 6, three faculty members at Washington and Lee University will take part in the 200-mile Blue Ridge Relay to raise funds for the “Be Loud! Sophie Foundation.”

Jon Eastwood, associate professor of sociology, Christopher Bruner, professor of law, and Paul Youngman, professor of German, are members of a 12-person team that will run through the mountains around the clock until they have completed the 200 mile relay.

The “Be Loud! Sophie Foundation” is named in honor of Sophie Steiner who died of cancer on August 30, 2013 at the age of 15.

“One of the things that Sophie drew attention to is the very few age-appropriate support services for teenagers, since services are either for younger children or adults” said Eastwood. “The foundation is trying to raise funds to fill this gap.”

The foundation website notes that adolescent and young adult cancer patients have unique needs: to maintain their identity, to keep in touch with friends and to be treated as the emerging adults they are. It also supports complementary medicine such as massage, yoga, meditation and acupuncture to improve the treatment and outlook for young adult cancer patients.

The W&L connection to the foundation is Youngman’s friendship with the Steiner family. He also serves on the foundation’s advisory board.

The Blue Ridge Relay is one of the longest-running relay races in the United States and takes place in the Blue Ridge and Black Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina.

The Raleigh News and Observer wrote about Sophie in a Sept. 1 article: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/09/01/4115110_chapel-hill-girls-dream-may-lead.html?sp=/99/102/110/&rh=1

Donations may be made on the Be Loud, Sophie Foundation website.

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