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Thank you to all the wonderful people who donated and shot foul shots in 2014! We raised more than $30,000 for pancreatic cancer research! We are hoping that this year we can do just as well and together help beat this cancer.
The 2015 Foul Shooting Fundraiser will take place September 12 at Cumberland Valley High School. To register or get more information please go to www.ClaireRoseBavaria.com
To make donations direct to the Lustgarten Foundation please visit http://lustgarten.org/clairerosebavaria2015
Dennis Bavaria – Why I Fight
On Monday, December 16, 2013, only ten days after our 38th wedding anniversary, I lost my beautiful wife Claire Rose to pancreatic cancer. I am still in shock. She was never sick a day in her life and the kind of woman who spent 45 minutes on the treadmill almost every morning.
That October, we had just returned from a trip to Paris. For some reason she had a stomach ache a day later. While this was unusual for her, we just put it down to her possibly picking up some sort of virus on the plane. Still, two weeks later, something wasn’t right. I was worried, as it was so unlike her to feel unwell. I took her to the emergency room and we found out that night she had pancreatic cancer. We were able to work with a top notch medical team but despite all our best efforts, she died in our arms, just two months after her diagnosis.
Losing Claire was so unexpected. She had just retired from 35 years of work. She had a wonderful spirit, a powerful moral compass, and a positive impact on all who met her. Her funeral attracted more than 800 people. She supported me and our two sons in all that we did and she was always smiling. From the day we first met, we fell in love right away. Together, we traveled the world. Thank goodness we never waited to go on these trips together. She was just a great woman. I was really, truly blessed to have a wife like this.
Since her passing, I kept asking myself how to keep her memory alive while dealing with this unimaginable grief. I didn’t have to look too far to find the answer. I have been a volunteer basketball coach for more than 50 years, and often was involved in many charitable basketball tournaments. So I decided to use all my extensive contacts and experience in this area to focus my efforts on a 100-foul shot fundraiser this fall to benefit The Lustgarten Foundation. It can be done by anyone, anywhere and people can sponsor as much as they like for each foul shot a player makes. When I first found out about the Foundation online, I then sent my attorney to check them out. The research results were impressive as was the fact that 100 percent of the money donated goes to research. I just thought this was a good one.
I feel great about this event. I have sent out more than 300 invitations to everyone I know in basketball: coaches, school districts, teachers, players, and former players. I have volunteers working on this event every day. We expect up to 500 people to participate and we hope to raise more than $30,000. It is the kind of thing Claire would have loved, as she was very involved in giving back to the community.
Claire believed in her faith, family and friends. She was also a fighter. I have the same faith that this fundraiser will succeed in raising both money and awareness about the disease that took her life. I also know I must continue her fight with the help of others. God must have a plan for me to make a difference. I hope it includes helping to end pancreatic cancer.
LINK TO REVIEW curePC BLOG SERIES “WHY I FIGHT”: