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ENG student Kayaks for a cancer cure

Jacob Miller (ENG’08) raised money for the American Cancer Society by organizing a kayak trip.

Jacob Miller, left, and two friends who kayaked for a cure.

When School of Engineering student Jacob Miller (ENG’08) learned that the grandfather of his close friend Steven Crawford had been diagnosed with colon cancer, he wanted to find a way to help.

A native of Port Jefferson, N.Y., Miller had always wanted to kayak along the Long Island coastline. Last summer, he and four hometown friends, Crawford, Trevor LaBarbera, Bill Kempe, and Peter Marchildon, rallied family and local businesses to sponsor a 50-mile kayaking excursion that would “[promote] awareness and [provide] funds for cancer research and prevention.”

The group of charitable kayakers formed a nonprofit organization they named Kayak for a Cure, and held other events as well, including a benefit concert. The entire effort raised more than $6,000 for the American Cancer Society.

They hope to raise even more money this summer with the second annual Kayak for a Cure. Their hometown paper, The Port Times Record, named Miller and his friends its “Men of the Year.” Miller says he believes his story is an example of  “the type of potential that each and every Boston University student possesses. Even at a young age, we were able to create a corporation for a charitable cause.”