CMU PRSSA airs final podcast episode of lymphoma awareness series


Members of the Central Michigan University Public Relations Student Society of America (CMU PRSSA) are releasing their final podcast episode, on Feb. 28, in a series made for Fire Up Red, a campaign to bring awareness to lymphoma.

The group created a campaign for The Bateman Case Study Competition, where students apply the knowledge they have learned in PR classes for a client. Bateman teams from across the country will create PR campaigns for one mutual client; the best campaign wins.

"The competition is definitely a very unique experience for PR students," said Rachel Bednarz, Waterford senior and member of CMU PRSSA.

A team of six students from CMU created the campaign in partnership with the Lymphoma Research Foundation to spread information about lymphoma and related resources. Additionally, they aim to raise awareness about lymphoma impact on adolescents and young adults.

The Bateman Competition team includes:

  • Molly Anderson
  • Rachel Bednarz
  • Natalie Batten
  • Jessica Johnson
  • Leona Falconer
  • Madison Lillie

The group has held community events, fundraisers and more recently made a podcast series, called Lymphoma Talks, speaking to those affected by the disease. In the series, three people were  interviewed about the impact lymphoma has had on their lives.

The first episode features Dr. Victor Yazbeck, a lymphoma researcher, interviewed by Essexville junior, Molly Anderson. Yazbeck discussed lymphoma warning signs, treatment plans and current clinical research. 

"I think the biggest perspective I took from (the interview) is that a lot of people our age had the mentality that (lymphoma) can't happen to me," Anderson said.

The second episode features Erica Campbell, a stage four lymphoma survivor, interviewed by Bednarz. Campbell now works as a youth ambassador for the Lymphoma Research Foundation, spreading awareness and support for those with lymphoma. 

"Listening to (Campbell's) story was really shocking and inspiring," she said.

The final podcast episode will be released on Feb. 28. In it, CMU student Joshua Conn will discuss how lymphoma has affected his family. 

The Fire Up Red website states that nearly one in five cancer diagnoses among young people are lymphoma. 

"We were hitting those big numbers in our campaign too, and when we were telling people this at our tabling events, their eyes got wide," Anderson said. 

Events were held during the week of Feb. 21 by the Bateman Competition group to spread information about lymphoma. Students were able to learn more about lymphoma, write cards for patients and gather stickers at a selfie booth.

One event, held at Blaze Pizza, donated a portion of each sale to the Lymphoma Research Foundation for every customer with a Fire Up Red flyer.

To listen to the podcast or find more information about the campaign, visit the Fire Up Red website.