Coaches versus cancer


Isabelle Phillips

Senior Development Manager of American Cancer Society Mauri Douglas leading a meeting for coaches vs. cancer. The Coaches vs. Cancer program is a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

On October 21, Lindale will have its annual Pink Out football game. This year, the high school will be teaming up with the American Cancer Society for a project called Coaches vs. Cancer: A Crucial Catch.

“The Coaches vs. Cancer program is a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches,”Mauri Douglas, Senior Development Manager  of American Cancer Society,  said. “This initiative leverages the personal experiences, community leadership, and professional excellence of coaches nationwide to increase cancer awareness and promote healthy living through year-round awareness efforts, fundraising activities, and advocacy programs.”

Each October, the American Cancer Society and the National Football League (NFL) team up to raise awareness for breast cancer through the NFL’s ‘A Crucial Catch’ campaign. This year, both organizations are asking high school football teams to become involved. ‘A Crucial Catch’ focuses not only on raising awareness, but also raising funds in support of the American Cancer Society’s breast cancer foundation.

“We’re going to have a Wall of Hope where if you know somebody that’s a cancer survivor or fighting cancer, students all over Lindale ISD will be able to purchase tickets to be able to build the wall at each campus,” LHS teacher Amy Shively said. “It’s going to be on display at the October 21st ball game.”

For many people in the Lindale community this is an opportunity to honor the loved ones who have lost their heroic battle. For others, the American Cancer Society provides hope for the people still fighting.

“For me, it hits real close to home because my daughter, Shiloh, had cancer when she was two and a half,” Shively said. “She’s a cancer survivor, so any time that we can educate the public as to cancer- and there’s all different kinds and forms- but anytime that we can educate the community about the dangers of cancer and how to look for it and how to be proactive, I think that’s important.”

Many organizations here at LHS are lending their time and encouragement to this sensitive cause. Each group is showcasing their abilities to support not only the Lindale community, but the American Cancer Society as a whole.

“I hope to be involved, with drill team, in doing a dance that shows how much we care about the cancer association and how we want to show our hope for them.” drill team captain Avery Beeler said. “My grandmother had cancer and I think it’s a big deal, it’s very life-threatening and I think it would be a great thing if we cure cancer.”

Last year’s Pink Out game had the biggest turn out of the season, and this season’s game has the same expectations. This game will especially be important due to the fact that more and more people have been affected by cancer in the past year. The American Cancer Society hopes that this event will bring the community of Lindale closer together.

“I love the mission,” Douglas said. “And the fact that I have never met anyone not affected by cancer in some way.  We are all connected and we all want to find a cure.  Cancer doesn’t discriminate and therefore we all can have a part in the fight against cancer.”