Day in the Life: Susan Schrader


“That cancer killed Ella is tragic. How cancer killed her is sad. That cancer treatment itself is brutal is something we must change,” said Carol Schrader, Susan’s sister and Ella’s mom. “When I volunteer and walk for CureSearch, I take small steps toward the huge goal of curing pediatric cancer. For Ella and every kid who is living or will live with cancer, I walk.”

Day-in-the-Life_SusanSusan Schrader is a Portland CureSearch Walk committee member. She was drawn to CureSearch after her niece, Ella, was diagnosed with cancer. Sadly, Ella passed away, but Susan is determined to help fund research that will improve treatments for children with cancer so that no child has to go through what her niece did. CureSearch recently caught up with Susan to learn more about her role as committee member and what lead her there.

Q:  What lead you to CureSearch?

A:  In September of 2010, my then 7-year-old niece, Ella, was diagnosed with cancer. The treatment was horrible, it seemed like very little advancements had been made to improve treatments. I watched her determination and strength throughout the whole process and realized that there had to be a better way to treat these children. My sister asked me to participate in the Portland CureSearch Walk as a birthday present to her, that is when I found CureSearch.

Q:  What lead you to becoming a CureSearch Walk committee member?

A:  After the first Walk, I was so moved by the event that I knew that I wanted to get involved in a bigger way. I answered the call to become a committee member. I get to work with some amazing people who are so dedicated to CureSearch and fighting children’s cancer.

Q:  What is a typical day as a committee member like?

A:  I try to do something for the Walk every day. Whether its meeting with leaders in my town, coordinating fundraisers, or working with the media to spread awareness, I love knowing that I’m making a difference.

Q:  What is the hardest part of being a committee member?

A:  I think the hardest part is that the subject is difficult for people to talk about. When I ask businesses or individuals to get involved, they are sometimes uncomfortable talking about children’s cancer. I have to constantly come up with new and creative ways to raise money and get people involved, which can sometimes be difficult.

Q:  What is your favorite part of being a committee member?

A:  My favorite part is working with my family and community on something that can benefit people everywhere for generations to come.

To volunteer or participate in a Walk near you, visit

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