David Reed, a senior Science Pre-Professional major, is the director of Camp Kesem Notre Dame. The program comprises of a larger,
nationwide community driven by passionate college student leaders that support children through and beyond their parent’s cancer. By offering innovative, fun filled programs that foster a lasting community, the organization aims to ensure that every child affected by a parent’s cancer is never alone. Reed oversees the planning of Camp Kesem throughout the year and works as a counselor during the program the first week of August. The group takes campers from the Mishawaka area to a YMCA camp in the middle of Michigan.
Along with serving as director for the camp, Reed is a teaching assistant for a freshman biology lab with Dr. Mark Olsen. Reed says he “enjoys working with freshman because they’re learning how to operate college, study, and manage their classes, and it’s really fun to stay involved in that class.”
Reed also worked in Mark Suckow’s lab, where he researched alum and SIS’s ability as adjuvants to enhance immune response in mice to combat developing cancers. Mark Suckow’s laboratory is working to develop and define cancer vaccines, which are produced from harvested tumor tissue and therefore include an enormous menu of relevant targets for the immune system.
Like many students, service has also been a part of Reed’s Notre Dame experience. Last spring break he went on a global health brigade trip to Nicaragua and helped build a house for a family in an impoverished community as well as implementing clean water for them.
“It was really remarkable. I had never been outside of the U.S. It was amazing to see not only how beautiful it was, but how impoverished it was. It really gives you an appreciation for what you have,” said Reed.
As for post-graduate plans, he has his eyes set on medical school. Hailing from the suburbs of Chicago, he hopes to attend a school in the windy city.
“The heart of studying medicine is doing something in service to others in need. I just think that medicine will always challenge you, learn new things, develop your skills, and that’s something that really intrigued me, so I would just love to have a career where I can help people, develop myself and test people as much as I can,” said Reed.