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DBU Volleyball players dig pink to support breast cancer awareness
November 10, 2011 | by Sally Minyard
DALLAS – Nationally, the month of October is becoming synonymous with the bright pink that represents breast cancer awareness, a disease that affected an estimated 1.6 million people worldwide in 2010 alone.
Five years ago, Dallas Baptist University gladly agreed to help do its part when the Heartland Conference volleyball coaches decided to begin sponsoring a Dig Pink event through the Side-Out Foundation. The Foundation’s goal is to unite volleyball players and coaches to work towards furthering breast cancer awareness, education, and patient services.
The DBU volleyball team joins together for a celebration following the Dig Pink event that was held to raise money for breast cancer research and awareness.
The Lady Patriots and other Heartland Conference teams began offering their full support by hosting a game once a year to raise money and bring awareness. But when they began this journey in 2006, none of them could have guessed how personal the mission would become. Two years ago during the week of DBU’s Dig Pink match, senior Kaylyn Frink found out her mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
“For the past three Dig Pink events, this game and fundraiser has become much more real to me,”Frink expressed.
“The opportunity for us to partner and raise awareness for this organization has been a blessing and a personal motivation to help all of those affected by breast cancer.”
In the midst of Frink’s mother’s own fight, DBU’s Head Volleyball Coach Cathy Ray Kokel’s mother was diagnosed as well.
Members of the sorority Delta Theta helped support the Dig Pink event at DBU and recently participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
“A lot of teams raise the money and keep playing the game, but here at DBU we have seen the effects. We have seen our mothers lose their hair, grow weak, travel to and from the hospital, yet they continued to come to our games—even while they were battling cancer.”
Regardless of their situation, Coach Kokel’s and Kaylyn’s mothers made it to cheer on their daughters at every single home game of the season. It was only appropriate, then, that at this year’s Dig Pink event held on October 20, the volleyball team took a moment to honor both mothers who have recently been declared cancer free.
Members of DBU’s Patriettes, Patriot Cheerleaders, and Delta Theta organization were also in attendance wearing pink and supporting the cause. For the girls of Delta Theta, it was important for them to be there for the volleyball team. Their major platform is breast cancer awareness, as well, having raised over $14,000 for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure since their establishment in 2009.
DBU senior Kaylyn Frink played in honor of her mother who recently battled breast cancer.
“I think it was important for Delta Theta to be part of this event because we wanted to show the players, coaches, and guests that we also fully support bringing awareness to breast cancer,”stated senior and Delta Theta president, Beckett Ammons.
“By supporting the fund-raising efforts that are happening all around us, we can help fund the search for a cure.”
A sentiment also echoed by Coach Kokel.
“We know it is events like this that are helping pave the way for more healing, and we have seen the proof within our team. We are thankful to God for allowing us to participate in such a meaningful event that keeps us focused on so much more than just volleyball.”
In the month of October alone, the Lady Patriots volleyball team was able to contribute $1,228 towards breast cancer research. While the fight may not be over yet, the teams and organizations at Dallas Baptist University know that every penny counts as they look forward to the day a cure is found.