Future First Citizen: Erin Marshall wants to help children with cancer

March, 2012 Posted in Community, People

By Jodi KerrRegis High School senior Erin Marshall

Sublimity resident and Regis High School Future First Citizen Erin Marshall has grown up fighting, but the battle has won her recognition and fond friends.

The daughter of Lance and Bonnie Marshall, her involvement with the Relay for Life, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, has made such an impact that she plans to make a career out of helping children with cancer

“I grew up doing the relay,” Marshall said. “I have been doing it since I was 7 years old. I have been on teams, been a team captain, been involved with committees, and the last couple of years I was the Luminaria Chair with my mom.  This year I am in charge of social media.”

“I am involved because way too many people have to hear the words ‘you have cancer,’” Marshall said. “I don’t want my children or my family to have to hear it. I don’t want anyone to have to hear the words ‘you have cancer.’”

“Last summer I applied for a volunteer program in Memphis, Tenn., at Saint Jude’s Hospital.  My mom flew out with me, and we lived out there for five weeks,” Marshall said. “I got to volunteer at the hospital and work hands-on with kids who had cancer. I got to explore the different parts of the hospital and went to speeches about different kinds of jobs at the hospital, and doctors, nurses and child life specialists presented to us.”

Community Awards Luncheon
Monday, April 2, 11:30 a.m.
Tickets: $11.50, available at
Stayton Sublimity Chamber of Commerce
175 High St., Stayton

The experience gave Marshall a new perspective. “It opened my eyes up.  Kids are so innocent and that having a disease doesn’t mean that they can’t be happy. It was more ‘wow’ they need our help, but they are going to be OK.”

Marshall has been accepted to the University of Portland and Western Oregon State University. She hopes to go into the field of pediatric oncology.

“Right now I am looking into being a child life specialist but I am not sure if that is exactly what I want to go into or not. Children are easygoing and fun to be around. They can’t do much for themselves, so I want to be able to definitely help them out.”

Marshall has proven that her community tops her list of priorities as well. She serves on the Regis Student Council, participates on the cross country team, and is involved with drama.  “I like being involved with the National Honor Society, because we organize the blood drive and involve the community. It is fun to get people involved.”

Marshall likes going to concerts, but has a heart for alternative bands, bands that are not big. “I like music, but I like to support the underdogs in music, because they’re often good but they have not yet recognized.”

For Marshall, the nomination came as a surprise. “It is a huge honor to be named Future First Citizen.”

Marshall thinks a supportive community and her parents have fostered her love for giving back.  “My parents have been very supportive.  They have allowed me to go and do what I want to do and helped me along the way.”

As far as advice, she has been given some that she follows on a daily basis.

“Some of the best advice I ever got was ‘Do not let what you can’t do get in the way of what you can.’”

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