NECC Student Raises $7,000 for Cancer Patients in Merrimack Valley

Merrimack Valley cancer patients receiving treatment at Lahey Clinic’s oncology department have Methuen’s Priscilla Westaway to thank for a recent donation of $7,000 for their benefit.

Gala attendeees listen to NECC photography student Priscilla Westaway share her story.

Westaway, a stage IV breast cancer patient who receives treatment at Lahey Peabody, combined her interest in photography with philanthropy at an October fundraiser at Northern Essex Community College called “Photo for a Cause.” In an effort to raise money for cancer patients in her community, Westaway curated a photography exhibit with the support of her NECC peers and faculty. Photos, gift baskets and other prizes were auctioned off for the cause over the course of two days.

Priscilla Westaway (with microphone) welcomes guests to the 'Photo for a Cause' fundraiser.

“’Photo for a Cause’ proves that a community can come together in an artistic way to overcome challenges facing those in need while they bravely battle cancer,” Westaway, who is pursuing an arts degree at NECC, told WHAV.

Earmarking funds for local patients, Westaway was thrilled with the generosity of gala attendees.

“(Donations) allowed us to cover expenses and provide $7,000 to cover groceries, childcare during treatment, transportation, the cost of co-payments for medication, and out-of-pocket bill pay,” the organizer said.

Westaway tells WHAV she has already spoken to NECC about a second ‘Photo for a Cause’ fundraiser in October 2018.