Doubleheader recognizes cancer survivors

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The SVSU athletic department hosted its ninth annual Breast Cancer Survivor event Saturday, Feb. 18, at the basketball doubleheader against Northwood.

The event coincided with the GLIAC’s Pink Wave week, which is aimed to unite the GLIAC schools to help bring awareness and help eliminate breast cancer.

“This is a great educational opportunity for our student-athletes as well as our student body on a real-life issue,” Athletic Director Mike Watson said. “It allows SVSU athletics to be engaged in a community service activity and, through our donations, be able to make a difference by saving lives in our community.”

A reception before the women’s game and a ceremony during half time were held for more than 50 breast cancer survivors from the Great Lakes Bay Region.

In addition to acknowledging the survivors and their fight, SVSU Athletics also raises money to combat the disease and find a cure. T-shirts, commemorative gifts and other promotional items have been sold all week by various SVSU athletes and were available for sale at Saturday’s games as well.

To date, the Breast Cancer Survivor event has raised over $27,000 for regional community members in need of breast cancer care services. All donations have been given to the St. Mary’s of Michigan Seton Cancer Institute Breast Care Fund.

The fund provides mammograms, ultrasounds and other cancer detecting services for qualified persons that are uninsured or under-insured.

“Last year, we had players wear the names of a family member touched by breast cancer on the back of their jerseys to honor them and their fight,” Watson said. “Breast cancer, as well as other types of the disease ,affect many of our students and student-athletes. This event can really open your eyes on how serious the issue is, but also how many people are out there that successfully beat cancer.”

The event was made possible this year through generous contributions by Cardinal Athletics volunteers, student-athletes and sponsors including Dr. Ernie Balcueva, Catholic Federal Credit Union, Cardinal Deli and Mitchell Motorcoach.