Eight members of the Eastern community raised an event-high $3,300 on Oct. 22 for Connecticut cancer patients during the Cycle Against Cancer fundraiser in West Hartford. The Eastern Warriors spent four hours at Tribe, an indoor cycling facility, spinning for the fundraiser, which raised more than $18,000 to assist cancer patients with hospital bills and life expenses.
Organized by the Connecticut Sports Foundation (CSF), the event’s ambassador was Michael, a Connecticut 2-year-old who is battling cancer. As a result, Michael’s family will receive a larger grant than usual through the CSF’s Cancer Patient Assistance program.
“Cancer creates such financial hardship for families,” said Terri Eickel, director of development and special events for the CSF. That hardship is magnified for families with pediatric patients. “The same type of cancer is different depending on the age of the person,” added Eickel. “Pediatric patients tend to have more side effects, more complications and spend more time in the hospital.”
The Eastern Warriors were led by Angelo Simoni, director of Judicial Affairs, and featured special recruit Mark Ojakian, president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system. Resident assistants (RAs) from Eastern formed a student subgroup called the “Dream Chasers” and raised $1,000, largely with $10-dollar donations by friends and family.
The Connecticut Sports Foundation provides financial support for cancer patients and families, and funds cancer research. On March 18, 2017, Cycle Against Cancer events will occur simultaneously across the state.