Featured Falcon: Volleyball player Saragha Surrendra raises breast cancer awareness


Saragha Surendra is a senior in SMCS making waves on the PHS Varsity Volleyball Team as an ambassador for the SideOut Foundation. She has organized the past two DigPink games, many bake sales, and online volunteering events, to use her platform to raise funds for breast cancer research. 

What sparked your interest in breast cancer research?

When I was in 7th grade, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Chemotherapy takes away a lot of your self-confidence. She wasn’t able to be involved in my life. She would call herself ugly. It’s not cancer itself, it’s the treatment that’s debilitating for a family. 

How did you get involved in healthcare initiatives at PHS?

I’m the current president of the Poolesville Chapter of the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC). I began in my freshman year after my friend signed me up, I was the vice president last year, and rose up as I stayed involved. FIMRC is a nonprofit that aims to provide quality healthcare to underserved communities. 

I got involved with the SideOut Foundation in my freshman year, and they gave me the tools to leverage the volleyball games for breast cancer research fundraising. Every $2k helps a woman beat her diagnosis. I became an ambassador to the SideOut Foundation to amplify efforts for research and give students a means to contribute!

Why should students get interested in breast cancer research and awareness?

Breast Cancer is so common, ⅙ women receive a diagnosis in their lifetime. My aunt also has breast cancer, and you never know when it can affect you and your family. It isn’t only women who can get breast cancer! 

What makes you optimistic about the future of breast cancer research?

Finding unknown treatment options excites me! With the rapid advancement of screening technology, I hope more women are faster to detect breast cancer before it progresses. I hope that there are less invasive treatment options developed so that a breast cancer diagnosis is more manageable for the patient and their family.