More Campus News
- It's Snowing. How Do I Find Out If Classes Are Canceled?
- Black Named Interim Dean of A&S
- Sen. Chris Murphy to Host Interactive Program on Federal Deficit
- Barney School Hosts T-Shirt Design Contest
Alum Wages Inspiring Battle Against MS
At Commencement in May, when she graduated from the College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture, Zaccaro was presented with the Belle K. Ribicoff Prize, which is awarded to a graduating senior who has excelled in academics, extracurricular activities, and leadership roles. Among her many achievements as an undergraduate, Zaccaro worked on high-profile projects for NASA and for United Technologies’ Hamilton Sundstrand Corp., where she now works as a systems engineer.
But Zaccaro’s accomplishments are even more extraordinary given the fact that, in her junior year, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a potentially debilitating disease affecting the central nervous system.
Rather than give in to fear or despair, Zaccaro became determined to fight back. Despite symptoms that include ongoing vision problems, occasional leg and arm pain, and some numbness and tingling in her extremities, Zaccaro signed up in the summer of 2005 to take part in the National MS Society, Greater Connecticut Chapter Mohegan Sun MS Bike Tour, a two-day cycling tour through southeastern Connecticut that raises money for research and services for those living with MS.
Zaccaro, who could have chosen to cycle as few as 50 miles over two days, successfully completed a 150-mile route. She went on to raise $10,000, making her the event’s top fundraiser.
Now, Zaccaro is training to cycle in her second 150-mile bike tour, to take place Sept 16-17.
Her story is helping to draw attention to the bike tour and the fight against multiple sclerosis. The National MS Society, Greater Connecticut Chapter recently issued a press release about Zaccaro and her inspiring battle against the disease.
“Lauren’s willingness to step out and speak up and her fundraising efforts are going far to help bring us close to finding a cause and a cure for what has proven to be a formidable foe – multiple sclerosis. Her confidence and optimism is contagious,” said Amanda Saccuzzo, development coordinator and event coordinator for the Greater Connecticut Chapter.
Zaccaro’s life is as busy and full as ever. She was recently engaged, and in her professional life she is working on a NASA project to remove water and carbon dioxide from the air while maintaining proper cabin pressure and temperature for astronauts on a future space vehicle.
“I feel fortunate. The effects of multiple sclerosis aren’t keeping me from pursuing my dreams or keeping me from enjoying my favorite activities,” Zaccaro said. “I have very high hopes for advance therapies for treating MS, and I feel the money that I and others raise brings us that much closer to conquering this disease.”
For more information on multiple sclerosis and on the Mohegan Sun MS Bike Tour, visit www.ctnmss.org.
If you would like to make a pledge to Zaccaro's bike team, "Team Arjums," click here. Once you enter Zaccaro's name, you will see links to her personal webpage for the bike tour, as well as her team web page.
You can contact Zaccaro at email@example.com.