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Alan Wildeman, Nicette and Celeste Scott, Jocelyn GignacUWindsor president Alan Wildeman thanks youngsters Nicette and Celeste Scott of St. Anne French Immersion School and retired teacher Jocelyn Gignac.

Scholarship support important to students, donors hear

Receiving a scholarship allows Ingrid Qemo to worry less about money—and more about finding treatments for cancer.

A master’s student of biology, she works in the research lab of professor Lisa Porter, where Qemo focuses on understanding tumour formation in breast cancer, which will affect approximately one in nine Canadian women.

Last year, she received the Gloria and Carl Morgan Graduate Scholarship in Breast Cancer Research, she told a breakfast gathering of UWindsor donors Friday.

“From the academic point of view, receiving this scholarship reinforced the value of my efforts in research,” Qemo said. “It has made me commit even more energetically to my project. I just want to thank all the donors for their investment and generosity.”

Among those donors are the students and teachers of St. Anne French Immersion School, who have raised more than $22,000 in support of the scholarship which benefitted Qemo. Two students from that school, sisters Celeste and Nicette Scott, were on hand to explain the hard work that went into fundraising.

The school community got involved when teacher Jocelyn Gignac helped to found an endowment in memory of her parents, Gloria and Carl Morgan, who died in the year Gignac taught Celeste Scott’s grade three class.

“People in our school brought pennies from their family, friends and some kids gave some of their allowance,” Scott said. “It was convenient for kids because it was right in our school and kids could relate to it because we all know someone who has breast cancer. The penny drive gives us all a chance to do something to help.

“Now that we don’t have pennies anymore, we have to come up other ways to raise money.”

Patti Lauzon, director of alumni affairs and donor communications, pointed to the continuing commitment of donors as the reason for recognition events like the breakfast.

“We have to take every opportunity to show our donors how we value their contributions, and the difference their support can make for students like Ingrid,” she said.