Bayer juggles college with membership in national Colleges Against Cancer effort

June 19, 2007|by JANET HEIM

Editor's note - There are a lot of people you see around town that you recognize, but don't know anything about. People like...

Julie Bayer

Age - 21.

Hometown - Hagerstown.

Where would you see Bayer? - The Salisbury University senior returns to Hagerstown for brief visits when she can get a break from her studies in clinical lab science and job in the medical lab at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford, Del., about 20 miles from Salisbury, Md.

Bayer started at Salisbury as a nursing student, knowing she wanted to do something in the medical field. She switched majors and likes that the program that she's now in has only nine students in her class.

In addition to those time commitments, the Hagerstown native has volunteered with the American Cancer Society's Colleges Against Cancer as long as she's been a student at Salisbury.


This year, she was one of seven college students in the country chosen to be on the Colleges Against Cancer National Leadership team. The organization focuses on cancer education, advocacy, survivorship and Relay For Life.

This summer, she will travel to Atlanta and Dallas to prepare for her new position, where she will help chapters incorporate other strategic directions into their Relay For Life events.

The team's other responsibilities include planning the CAC's national summit in the fall, hosting monthly nationwide conference calls for all chapters and publishing a monthly newsletter.

"I'm just looking forward to making the most of it. I only have one year left and want to make it count as much as possible," Bayer said.

Bayer, who is the only child of Larry and Susan Bayer, said she's the first Salisbury student to be on the national team and believes she's the first Maryland college student to be selected.

"The experience I get from this won't only help me and my school, but will help other schools as well," Bayer said.

At Salisbury, Bayer began as a team captain for Relay For Life her freshman year, then chaired the college's event, which has been ranked in the top two in the nation for the past three years, she said.

Bayer, a 2004 North Hagers-town High School graduate, became interested in cancer education and research after a high school classmate's father was diagnosed with cancer. The father received a bone marrow transplant and recovered and Bayer remains in touch with him.

She is confident that in time there will be a cure for cancer.

"I hope I'll be around to see that," Bayer said.

Hobbies - "Most of the things I do revolve around CAC and Relay. That is my hobby," Bayer said.

She has added wedding planning to her list, though, as she helps plan her June 7, 2008, wedding to her fianc, D.J. Vile, of Cape May, N.J., whom she met at college. The wedding will take place within weeks of her May 22, 2008, graduation from Salisbury.

What does Bayer like best about Washington County? - "It's home. No matter what's going on everywhere else, I can come home, put the rest of life on hold and relax," said Bayer, who grew up in the Hamilton Boulevard home her parents still live in.

If you know anyone in the community who might make an interesting Our Town feature, contact Janet Heim at 301-733-5131, ext. 2024 or e-mail

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