Campus News

‘Stand Up to Cancer’ event brings awareness

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On Saturday, the Bethel College Science Department hosted a “Stand Up to Cancer” event during halftime of the Bethel vs. Indiana Wesleyan men’s basketball game. Two Bethel graduates who are currently playing Maor League Baseball, Eric Stultz and Justin Masterson, spoke at halftime to discuss how cancer has personally affected them. Bethel Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Undergraduate Research Director Dr. Lynne Cary also spoke. The event was put together for many reasons, the most prevalent of those being the large amount of people at Bethel who have been affected by the disease. As they did in chapel last Friday, they also handed out “Stand Up to Cancer” cards and wrote the names of their loved ones who have been affected by the disease. “The connection we wanted to make is that there’s athletes, Bethel staff, Bethel faculty, so many people at Bethel are affected by cancer,” said Cary. “We wanted to reach out for them, pray for them, and also make them aware that we have the undergraduate research program, and we’re actually looking at the disease.” The event was also put on the shine a light on the college’s undergraduate research program. “(Vice President of Institutional Advancement) Dr. Terry Zeitlow, this was his brainchild,” said Cary. “(He) wanted to raise awareness for the research program on campus and we have a particular need right now for a piece of equipment that is $11,000 … So we’re selling T-shirts and hats and the MLB players are taking donations for their signatures.” Dr. Cary has been at Bethel since 2004, and has been doing breast cancer research with her undergraduate research teams since 2006, and that has much to do with a former Bethel professor affected by the disease. “We want to especially talk about Dr. Leslie Greising who was the inspiration for our research program ... she’s gravely ill right now and she was unable to attend … The only reason that we have a breast cancer research program right now is because of her.” Another story at Saturday’s game was Bethel’s honorary coach, Associate Professor of Music Bob Ham. Interestingly enough, Dr. Ham and Coach Lightfoot have a little bit of a “deal” going on. “A year ago, Mike Lightfoot said one the things on his bucket list was that he wanted to direct the Bethel Concert Choir, so I turned over the concert choir in the Christmas chapel for him to direct one piece,” said Ham. “I was supposed to have the opportunity to be an honorary coach (last year). Ham was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, but has been winning the battle against the disease ever since. “I was too sick to do it last year … so when the ‘Stand Up to Cancer’ came along this year he (Coach Lightfoot) asked if I wanted to do it and I said ‘Sure’ … It meant a lot to me. My son-in-law (Justin Masterson) spoke, and it was just nice to be part of all that.” Regarding his responsibilities as “honorary coach," Ham just enjoyed being along for the ride. “I went in the locker room, met the guys … listened to the coach talk about the game plan, prayed with them, then I just came out and tried to offer encouragement … I didn’t offer any coaching wisdom (laughs).”  
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