Men’s Soccer: Cadets raise nearly $900 at Malia Crushes Cancer fundraiser
(Photos courtesy Bill Croney/Northfield News)
NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich University men's soccer team raised nearly $900 on Sunday, April 29 during its Malia Crushes Cancer fundraiser at the NU football field track.
Over 50 people were on hand to take part in the event, which was a one-hour competition featuring various prizes for most laps completed while running/walking, oldest and youngest entrant and fastest lap. Another 10 people made separate donations beforehand that contributed to the amount raised.
The Norwich men's soccer team has now raised nearly $1,300 for Malia Jusczyk, who is 3 ½-year-old that has a very aggressive childhood cancer known as stage IV neuroblastoma.
"It's very impressive and heartwarming to see the entire Norwich University community get behind Malia's cause," Norwich head men's soccer coach Kyle Dezotell said. "From students on campus, to faculty, athletic department staff and members of the local community, it's been incredible to witness."
Members of the team and the coaching staff have been selling pink and yellow "Malia Crushes Cancer" bracelets that are available for $1 or any amount of money you'd like to donate.
"If you walk around campus right now, you see hundreds of students wearing pink and yellow bracelets supporting Malia," Dezotell said. "Our hope is that we have provided Malia and her family with a little bit of help as they courageously battle neuroblastoma.
Plans are currently in the works for the team to meet Malia in the fall in conjunction with a conference game in the Boston area.
The NU men's soccer team will be making another indirect contribution to Malia's cause this fall when they host their inaugural Cadet Kickoff Classic on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. The official tournament T-shirts are going to be purchased through Malia's father, Glen. He used to own L'il Dogs Sportswear in Massachusetts and he still has some of his screen-printing equipment.
Dezotell said there could also be plans to hold another fundraising event in conjunction with the Cadet Kickoff Classic to try and raise more money for Malia and her family. He hopes to donate another $1,000-$3,000 on top of what has already been contributed.
Malia's background story:
On April 1, 2011, it was official: 2 ½-year-old Malia Dakota Jusczyk's carefree life of Disney World and pony rides, soccer practice and swimming pools, came to a grinding halt. A CT scan revealed that Malia's recent "tummy aches" were caused by a large tumor lodged in her abdomen. The solid mass wrapped around major blood vessels and pushed against her kidney and aorta.
A biopsy confirmed that Malia has a very aggressive childhood cancer known as stage IV (high risk) neuroblastoma. The cancer had metastasized into her bones and bone marrow (cranium, humerus, and femur). Immediately after the debilitating diagnosis, Malia's parents, Megan and Glen, left Orlando, Florida in order to provide their daughter with the best treatment currently available to her at the Children's Hospital/Dana-Farber Jimmy Fund Clinic in Boston, Massachusetts.
To survive, Malia's little body has had to endure 6 rounds of chemo, 9 hours of tumor resection surgery, a stem cell transplant, removal of a kidney, 12 rounds of proton radiation, and countless blood transfusions. Although her remaining kidney is very weak, we hope she'll be able to finish immunotherapy in June, 2012.
According to the Neuroblastoma Children's Cancer Society, "For families affected by neuroblastoma, the medical costs alone typically exceed $500,000. With many costs not covered by health insurance, this experience can devastate a family financially." Please consider making a donation to help beautiful Malia crush cancer:
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Members of the Norwich University volleyball team participate in the Malia Crushes Cancer fundraiser on Sunday April 29 at the NU football field track. (Bill Croney/Northfield News)
Norwich University athletic trainer Nikki Therrien helps collect donations during the Norwich men's soccer team's Malia Crushes Cancer fundraiser on Sunday, April 29 at the NU football field track. (Bill Croney/Northfield News)