For Penn State Brandywine senior Victoria Marotta, helping local families battle cancer is all in a day's work. The Aston resident and communications major (a former brain cancer patient herself) recently raised an incredible $15,000 to benefit local cancer patients and their families.
Diagnosed in 2010 with a cancerous brain tumor known as medulablastoma, Marotta recalled the day she was rushed into the 14-hour emergency brain surgery that would forever change her life.
"That was one of the hardest moments of my life. Just hearing the words come out of the doctor's mouth," Marotta said, as she explained the emotion she felt when her doctor told her about her cancer diagnosis.
A 21-year-old college student balancing school, work and a social life at the time, she said the situation "was very overwhelming. I was just going through so many different types of emotions. Without God and the support of my family and friends, I don't think I could have gotten through it."
After a long year-and-a-half consisting of intense radiation treatments, chemotherapy, proton therapy and multiple brain surgeries at several different Philadelphia hospitals, Marotta has not only been in remission for three years, but is helping local families suffering from cancer through her non-profit organization the Victoria Rose Fund.
According to its website, the mission of the Victoria Rose Fund is to provide relief, awareness, support and inspiration to local families battling cancer. "Committed to helping find a cure," the non-profit organization has been hosting and sponsoring various events to raise money for the cause since its inception in 2010.
As chief executive officer (CEO) of the Victoria Rose Fund, Marotta manages several areas of the organization, including its public relations and marketing initiatives, senior administrative staff supervision, daily operations and fundraising efforts. She credits many of her classes and professors at Penn State Brandywine for giving her the skills needed to be a successful business leader.
The organization's last event, the 5th Annual Victoria Rose Benefit held on September 28, raised a whopping $15,000. The non-profit organization is in the process of planning its next fundraising event, which will be a golf outing this spring.
"I'm going to do this for the rest of my life, that's a promise. This is in my heart," Marotta said. "It's my way of paying it forward and giving back. I'm lucky to be here and I need to somehow make a difference. I don't care if it's in one person's life, I need to make that difference."