SportsBizMiss vs. Cancer Facebook Cover

 

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In June of 2012, a young man pulled me aside at the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics convention in Dallas, Texas to introduce himself. His name was Chase Jones, and that moment changed my life.

That day, Chase told me about his vision for a new children’s cancer foundation. It would provide athletes with a platform from which they could raise money to both cure children’s cancer and impact their communities. Chase explained that he had been a freshman baseball player at UNC when he was diagnosed with a Stage IV brain tumor. His teammates shaved their heads in solidarity, and an idea was born.

Chase shared that idea with me back in 2012 and asked if I would consider being on the foundation’s advisory board. As I always tell people now, you can’t meet Chase and not want to get involved. By the time he called me several months later, he was asking me to serve on the foundation’s first Board of Directors, a position I hold to this day.

What Chase didn’t know when he first approached me in 2012 was that I had lost someone I loved to cancer just a few years earlier. He was a baseball player I’d fallen in love with in college, so you can imagine how Chase and his story reawakened those feelings. I was happy to join Chase in his crusade against cancer.

Since the foundation began in 2013, we’ve raised more than $1.5 million for children’s cancer hospitals and national research initiatives. Last year, 2,981 athletes on 112 teams raised  money through the Vs. Cancer Foundation that impacted 40,617 kids with cancer, both through national research grants and gifts to local hospitals.

The Vs. Cancer Foundation got its start working with college athletes. Although we’ve expanded to include youth and high school teams and anyone else who wants to get involved, college athletics is intertwined with the Vs. Cancer story – and mine. My career as a sports business analyst took off when I began to focus on college athletics, and it continues to be my specialty. From day one, it felt like the Vs. Cancer Foundation and I were meant to be together.

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