Student-Athletes Lend Hand During Breast Cancer Awareness Week
October 10, 2012
By John Boccacino and Josh Mead/Sports Information Department
Almost everyone knows someone who has been affected by breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women in the United States, besides skin cancer, and it’s also one of the leading causes of cancer deaths among all women.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and while strides are being made in the fight against breast cancer (the occurrence of breast cancer in U.S. women decreased by 1.2 percent from 1999-2008 while the death rate among breast cancer patients declined by two percent during that same period), the members of Keuka College’s sports teams are pitching in to aid in the fight against breast cancer.
Beginning on Saturday, Keuka College’s student-athletes, specifically the members of the baseball, men’s and women’s soccer teams and the women’s volleyball team, will hold breast cancer awareness events and fundraisers on campus, in an effort to both raise money for breast cancer research and awareness of this life-altering disease.
Breast Cancer Awareness week kicks off when Keuka’s baseball team plays a 50-inning baseball game on Saturday, Oct. 13. The first pitch goes off at 9 a.m. and play continues through 3 p.m.
Michael Barry, the Storm’s third-year head baseball coach, proposed the idea of playing a 50-inning game as a way to raise money for the baseball program. When Barry spoke to Keuka’s captains, they all suggested turning the game into both a baseball fundraiser and a breast cancer awareness event.
The concept of an extended baseball game has been around for a while, and most teams use it as a vehicle for raising money for the school’s baseball or softball programs. Unlike traditional baseball games, where teams have three outs per inning and play nine innings, this special game will feature the two Storm squads playing different types of hitting games to move along the pace of the game, as well as a split-squad contest between the two Storm baseball teams.
The action takes place at Kuhl Field at the Jephson Community Athletic Complex.
“For our captains to say that we also want to bring awareness to something bigger than our team, I believe that’s pretty special,” Barry said.
Not only are the members of Keuka’s athletics teams trying to raise awareness of breast cancer on campus, but also in the surrounding Penn Yan and Yates County communities.
Sophomore co-captain Jon Borchert (Upper Arlington, OH/Upper Arlington) is one of the members of the baseball team who knows someone fighting breast cancer.
Before his senior year of high school, his mother, Lori Borchert, sat down with her son and broke the news that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. This was extremely difficult for Borchert, who had already lost his sister, Jennifer, to Leukemia when he was in middle school.
“It was tough when my mom told me she had breast cancer because I already knew how tough it was when my sister was diagnosed with Leukemia,” said Borchert, whose stellar play on the field earned him the baseball Freshman of the Year award in 2012.
“But I also knew that I had to be mentally strong and try to work around it. Cancer is tough because you never know when it is going to be your last day; anything and everything can change your life for the best and the worst in an instant. We all just have to make the most of life while you have the chance and live life to the fullest.”
Through these continued efforts on campus and in the community, Borchert and the rest of Keuka’a student-athletes hope to make an impact in the fight against breast cancer.
The odds of a woman being diagnosed with invasive breast cancer some time during her life is about 1 in 8, but thanks to the efforts of fundraising efforts, there are currently an estimated 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States alone.
The breast cancer awareness efforts continue on Sunday and run through Saturday, Oct. 20.
At all home games during this stretch, fans will be able to make donations to help out the Keuka Comfort Care Home (www.keukacomfortcarehome.org), a hospice home in Penn Yan that offers free, compassionate end-of-life care to terminally ill residents of both Yates County and the surrounding area.
There will be a table set up near the venue(s) to collect donations from fans, Keuka students and Keuka student-athletes to help raise awareness of the dangers of breast cancer.
Here’s the rest of the lineup for Keuka College’s Breast Cancer Awareness Week: Keuka’s women’s soccer team (5-5, 5-3 North Eastern Athletic Conference) hosts Wilson College at 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon at the Jephson Community Athletic Complex.
On Tuesday night, Oct. 16, Keuka’s men’s soccer team hosts Elmira College at 7 p.m. in a non-conference clash, while the Storm’s women’s volleyball squad hosts Wells College at 7 p.m. inside the Weed Physical Arts Center.
Lastly, on Saturday, Oct. 20, the men’s soccer team welcomes SUNY Canton to campus for a 3 p.m. game.
After all the Breast Cancer Awareness Week contests have concluded, representatives from the Storm’s sports teams will visit the Keuka Comfort Care Home and present their donations to the staff on site.
For more information on the national Breast Cancer Awareness Month efforts, visit http://www.nbcam.org.