Third-Year Law Student Diagnosed with Stage II Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at Age 23 Receives 2019 Leukemia &

Published: Mon Oct 21 2019

The Law Office of Renkin & Associates has selected Charles Terranova, third-year law student at University of Buffalo School of Law and a graduate of SUNY Fredonia, as one of two recipients of its 2019 Leukemia & Lymphoma Law School Scholarship.

Charles was diagnosed with Stage II Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at the age of 23, shortly after graduating from college. When he grew concerned about a lump forming above his clavicle, Charles writes, "My life changed overnight." After receiving his diagnosis, Charles underwent six ABVD cycles over the course of 12 weeks; and, when follow-up tests revealed that his cancer had not completely gone away, he spent the next month "confined to one floor of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute" where he received autologous stem cell transplantation therapy.

It was during this time, Charles says, that he formulated his interest in the law: "[D]uring the process, I realized I wanted to be a lawyer. After countless interactions with my treating physicians, I began to admire their work greatly. Each one was a passionate intellectual, each had dedicated their lives to using their professional expertise to help people. I wanted to live my life like that. As a student of the arts and humanities with a background in writing and research, I began to explore law as an option for my future."
Charles chose to apply to University of Buffalo School of Law because it was close enough to the Roswell Park Cancer Institute that he would be able to continue his treatment there if he got accepted. Thanks to extensive LSAT training during his treatment, Charles writes, he got in. "My first day of law school was August 31, 2017, about one-year post-transplant. I’m proud to say that law school was an excellent fit for me, and I’ve really been able to thrive there. I finished 1L year in the top five percent of my class, and interned for a U.S. Magistrate Judge my 1L summer. In my second year, I participated in a medical-legal partnership clinic, where I actually got to work with patients at Roswell Park." Charles is currently in his third year of law school and plans to graduate in 2020.
The Law Office of Renkin & Associates’ annual Leukemia & Lymphoma Law School Scholarship is awarded to current and aspiring law students whose lives have been affected, either personally or through a family member, by leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood cancers.
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About the Law Office of Renkin & Associates
With offices in North County, San Diego, the Law Office of Renkin & Associates represents Southern California residents and families in divorces and other family-related legal matters. The firm was founded by Richard M. Renkin, a Certified Family Law Specialist and lymphoma survivor who has been practicing law for more than three decades. To learn more, visit

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