The Ancilla College Men’s and Women’s basketball team uniforms will be going from blue and gold to pink on Saturday and now the players have a good idea why.
On Saturday, February 18th the Chargers will take on Kalamazoo Valley Community College for their annual Ounce of Prevention fundraiser basketball game. They will wear pink uniforms that day to symbolize their support for Breast Cancer Awareness. On Friday, Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center oncology patient navigator Lois Carver spoke to the Chargers about what it is like to be a patient facing the diagnosis of cancer. Carver serves as a patient advocate to insure that they receive the support and knowledge they need as they work their way through the health care system.
Ancilla College Athletic Director Gene Reese said, “Lois Carver was able to help them make the leap from fundraising for ‘Ounce of Prevention’ and the impact they make for breast cancer treatment. She had everyone’s full attention when she spoke!” Reese added, “Our goal for ‘Chargers for Change’ is to help student-athletes realize how important it is to help others in need. When the student-athlete leaves Charger athletics we want each one to continue making a difference in the lives of others in need.”
This is very close to home for Lady Charger guard Rebecca Bunkowfst of North Judson. Several years ago Rebecca’s doctors thought she was suffering from bone cancer and sent her to Riley’s Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis for a better diagnosis. Luckily for Rebecca, the tests came back negative, but it left her frightened.
“In 2009, when the doctors discovered a tumor in my right arm after it snapped throwing a baseball, my family and I were notified that I had a big possibility that I had bone cancer,” began Bunkowfst. “Once I was sent to Indy, where we found out the tumor was benign [not cancerous], I was just thankful and blessed to not be a new cancer patient. The possibility of cancer and just hearing that one word was so scary. So, I feel blessed I can help raise money for an organization that helps cancer patients get through the sickness that brings fear and provide support to the patients and their families.”
Bunkowfst said the presentation by Carver was wonderful. “As a team we learned that the money that is raised at our game for the ‘Ounce of Prevention’ doesn’t just help pay bills of breast cancer patients. First, the money stays local, which is awesome. Not knowing, the person we walked by in Wal-Mart or just on the street, we may have helped. Second, it also helps for all cancer patients. It gives mammograms to women who can’t afford them and provides money to have a Patient Care Navigator (PCN).”
Bunkowfst added, “The PCN helps the cancer patient and their family to go through the steps of understanding what to expect and how to get through them. I am thankful, as is the rest of the Ancilla Women’s Basketball team, to be part of this organized fundraiser, knowing we are helping making a difference and getting play the game we love.”
The Lady Chargers’ game tips off at 1:00 PM Saturday at the LifePlex while the men’s game follows at 3:00 PM. Admission to the games is just $5.00 There are fundraising events throughout the afternoon including a money grab, silent auction, and bake sale. Paper airplanes will also be sold for $1. The person’s plane that lands closest to the circle in the center of the court will win an IPod. A State proclamation from State Senator Ryan Mishler will also take place.
This is the fifth year for the event. In 2010 Chargers for Change raised over $1,500 and last year they raised $2,200. Reese said they hope to top that total this year.
Ancilla College is a Catholic, two-year, co-educational, liberal arts college in Donaldson, Indiana sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.
Pictured: Front row L to R: Natasha Ware, Brittany Cook, Allison Bowman, Danielle Burge, Haley Markley, Carlee Davis, Katrina Vannoy, and Rebecca Bunkowfst
Back row L to R: marc Constable, Phillip Boyd, Jazz Drane, Josh Wilson, Dylan McDaniel, Alexander Hutson, Joby Renbarger, Jordan Coe, Ben Gilbert, Affice Johnson, and Andre Hampton.