Participate in Play4TheCure’s mission of funding research for cancer to help lives such as Jun Abell.
Play4TheCure is dedicated to raising funds for the National Foundation for Cancer Research through competitive sports featuring recreational sports clubs, middle schools, high schools and collegiate sporting events. On Wednesday, April 27 the Montclair High School and Verona High School girl’s lacrosse teams played a game that was evident of true heart and compassion. Under the supervision of influential mentors, MHS Head Varsity Coach Ann Jennings and VHS Head Varsity Coach Suzanne Giarrusso, the two coaches have successfully delivered the message of empowering the awareness and research for cancer through efforts of teamwork.
As the girls faced off at Woodman Field, the final score was 18-9. It was a great day for Montclair lacrosse! To take part in this inspirational cause, donations will be graciously accepted and deeply appreciated to fund cancer research by visiting crowdrise.com/montclair-high-school-lacrosse.
“We would like to thank Mary Dana for setting up this special event and to ONEX Corporation for donating the t-shirts for varsity, [junior varsity] and freshmen, and items for the Breast Cancer Club to sell at the game,” said MHS Head Varsity Coach Ann Jennings. “We would also [like to give a special] thank you to the Booster Club for the Pink Headbands!”
The picture above features Jun Abell, a 5-year-old cancer survivor who has been clear N.E.D. (no evidence of disease) for three and half years. His sweet sister Maya, age 8, is beside him on his left, watching her younger brother shine like a star so effortlessly. At 18 months, Abell was diagnosed with Pineoblastoma, a type of tumor that starts in a tiny organ called the pineal gland, located deep inside the brain that secretes a hormone called melatonin, which controls sleep. This type of tumor is more aggressive than other types of pineal gland tumors. Its fast growth typically causes cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to build up in the brain, resulting in hydrocephalus. While Pineoblastoma can spread the CSF in 10 percent to 20 percent of cases, most of the time the tumor doesn’t spread to other parts of the body. The cause is unknown, although genetic abnormalities are suspected.
“Jun and Maya were both excited to participate in Play4theCure and be in the center of the crowd,” said Mike Abell, father of Jun Abell. “I’m not sure Jun truly understood why he was receiving the honor. But I can tell you what it meant to us as his parents. We were proud to see him out there healthy and thriving, and were happy he could take part in this great event.”
The story behind Abell is in connection to VHS Head Varsity Coach Suzanne Giarrusso, who is his aunt. “I had my niece and nephew wear the Verona pinnie and jersey that day,” said Giarrusso. “The Verona girls wore gold ribbons to honor childhood cancer. I am connected to MHS [because] I grew up in Montclair and played lacrosse there.” The family continues to be an active participant to the great town of Montclair as the mother of Giarruso and grandmother to Abell recently retired from MHS.
Below are the names of individuals who have either lost their battle, continue to fight their battle and to celebrate those have won their battle to cancer. These precious names have been provided by the players of the game featured at the very bottom. At some point in our lives we have all come across someone we love, know or even ourselves have been affected by this challenging disease. It’s very important to always remember at times like these to hold every moment of life very dear to our hearts. Start spreading the love and awareness, in hopes of making a difference worldwide with Play4TheCure!