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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Campus club raises awareness of cystic fibrosis realities


    U of A students gather around their table on the mall to sell tanks to support cystic fibrosis research efforts. Courtesy of Camden Weisz.

    One of the quintessential pieces of advice impounded into the minds of incoming UA freshmen is to get involved on campus. Most students plan to join greek organizations or clubs coinciding with their future career plans. However, Ben Bernstein, a communications senior, decided to bring a new club to the UA instead to raise awareness and funds for an important cause; Emily’s Entourage.

    “When I was a freshman, I didn’t join Greek Life and had some time on my hands, so I wanted to get involved,” Bernstein said. “[I] decided to make Emily’s Entourage a club at the UA,”

    Sophie Sheintoch, a communications junior and Emily’s Entourage vice president, worked with Emily’s Entourage before coming to the UA. She joined the UA’s branch of the organization as a freshman.

    “I started at home because I’m really good friends with Emily’s sister, Julia. So when I got here, I joined the club,” Sheintoch said.

    Emily’s Entourage is an organization that spreads awareness and raises money for cystic fibrosis.

    Emily Kramer-Golinkoff, a family friend of both Bernstein and Sheintoch, was diagnosed with a rare form of cystic fibrosis at a young age. Copious college campuses across the nation have picked up the campaign’s cause since Kramer-Golinkoff started the organization.

    “Her brother went to Tulane in New Orleans and started Emily’s Entourage there,” Bernstein said. “[So] I thought, ‘Why not bring the organization to UA? [Why not] bring some good to campus and raise more awareness?’”

    Throughout his four years of involvement in the club, Bernstein said he has seen major growth.

    “It started with just me, and then I got people from my hall to join when I was a freshman,” Bernstein said. “When we started there were just about five of us, but now there’s about 60.”

    According to Sheintoch, Emily’s Entourage does many fundraisers throughout the year to support cystic fibrosis research efforts.

    “We sell T-shirts on the [UA Mall] and do events around campus at places like Pizza Studio and Pieology,” she said.

    The club sells tank tops on the Mall once a month for $15 each. Bernstein said they sold $1,000 worth of shirts on the Mall during this year’s Family Weekend festivities.

    Emily’s Entourage is unique because it supports the small percentage of cystic fibrosis patients who can’t be cured by Kalydeco, a drug the Food and Drug Administration approved to treat rare forms of cystic fibrosis, according to FDA’s website.

    “Emily has a rare form of cystic fibrosis, so the pill doesn’t cure her type,” Bernstein said. “She has specific doctors taking blood samples to work on finding a cure for her. She wears a tube and a vest to help her lungs for three hours each day and spends many days in the hospital because she’s very prone to getting sick.”

    Bernstein said the club, recognized by Associated Students of the University of Arizona, meets biweekly and is open to all UA students.

    “We’re on CollegiateLink, so anyone can request to become involved. … We’ll send them emails about different events going on,” Berstein said. “They don’t have to buy a tank to be a part of the club—the most important thing is to learn and create awareness throughout campus.”

    Follow Emma Jackson on Twitter.

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