As the official sports fundraising platform of the National Foundation for Cancer Research, Play4TheCure asks individual athletes and teams “Who Do You Play4?” To answer our own question: It’s not just about one color ribbon, we play for ALL CANCERS, ALL COLORS, ALL SPORTS.
In the era of precision medicine, doctors want to use genetics to select the most effective drugs for each individual patient. It’s time to move beyond individual cancer types – different colored ribbons. By way of precision medicine, we will find cures for all types of cancer. By supporting NFCR’s scientists in their invaluable research endeavors, you are helping pave the way to do exactly that: cure cancer.
We have all been affected by cancer in some way or other or know those who have been. Make a decision to Play4 them. Make a decision to help NFCR pave the way to finding a cure. Together, playing for ALL CANCERS, ALL COLORS and through ALL SPORTS, we will make a difference.
In April of 2011 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had no family history of the disease, considered myself a fairly healthy and fit individual (ran the Boston Marathon, I am a personal trainer, I watch what I eat. I had done all of the "things" that are suggested that you do to keep breast cancer at bay, including having four children before I turned 30 years old), AND I had had a mammogram a month earlier that was completely clear... And yet, the call still came from my surgeon that the results of my biopsy showed I had cancer.
At the time of my diagnosis my daughter, Caroline, (Cally),was a junior at Loomis Chaffee and played in the goal for our varsity field hockey team. My son, Jack was a freshman, my daughter Samantha was running cross country and track for Providence College and my son Conor was an acting and fine arts major at Central Connecticut State University. I had surgery in May of 2011 and began treatment in August. At the end of August I was riding my moped to an appointment when a car cut me off on Cottage Grove Road in Bloomfield. I dove off my moped going 45mph to avoid being hit by the car and broke one wrist, fractured another and was covered in "road rash". I was immobile. Determined to finish my treatments on time and get back to "living my life,” I asked Loomis Chaffee for a leave of absence so that I could concentrate on "healing."
My daughter Cally was entering her senior year, was a captain of the FH team and eagerly pursuing the college process with a goal to play at the next level. My daughter Samantha had transferred to UConn so that she could be closer to home while I was going through my treatments. My sons, Jack and Conor, and my husband Bernie were home helping me too. Loomis allowed me to take time away from my administrative and dormitory responsibilities, but I still wanted to coach. I loved the girls on the team and I loved the positive energy that I was receiving from the program, I could not imagine not being present. I wanted the girls to know that Cancer is not a death sentence and that I could be healthy while I was going through my treatments, but I had to rest and take care of myself, re-prioritize and focus on myself and my healing, as well as have fun with them. Being on the field each day was truly the best part of my day and something I looked forward to as I approached my daily radiation treatments.
LCFH had always participated in Play 4 The Cure games, even before I was diagnosed, but our October game that year coincided with my final treatment at St Francis. It was a great experience for the girls and for me that year and every year since. My children are now all four years older. My daughter Cally did go to college to play field hockey (Brown University) and my daughter Samantha, finished at Ohio State and worked at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, she is now working at Massachusetts General Hospital on a study with Harvard University on palliative care for cancer patients. My son Jack is a sophomore at the University of Oklahoma where he is working with the Sooner Football team and my son Conor is in LA pursuing his dream of acting and writing. Our children make us incredibly proud every day and having the opportunity to work with young people and coach Loomis Chaffee's field hockey team is not something I take for granted, ever.
Our Play 4 The Cure event, which will take place on Platt Field this year on October 9 during our 6:30pm game against Westminster School will be yet another celebration. Our JV team will be playing on 10/10; the fourth anniversary of my end of treatment and in celebration of one of our JV coaches, Sue King, who is a 14-year Leukemia survivor.
Our goal is to raise awareness for our student athletes, their families and our community. We want people to know that we are stronger together and that together we can do anything, including helping to find a cure for cancer. Please consider making a donation in ANY amount and please join us on 10/9 at 6:30pm to watch the varsity field hockey team take on a talented squad from Westminster and then again on Saturday when our JV team looks to challenge themselves against Martlets at 3:00pm on our new turf field. If you cannot join us and are unable to financially support us at this point, keep us in your prayers and all those who are affected by this disease. I truly believe that a cure is coming!
Thanks for your support!