About one in every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. While this month is about bringing awareness to the disease, it also lends itself to an opportunity to connect with those engulfed with the battle right now. Spectrum Sports 360 Reporter Despina Barton takes us out to Stetson University, where a platoon of parents are creating a safe haven of support.
For the first time all season Lynn Craske is snaking through the stands at Spec Martin Stadium and settling in to catch a Stetson Hatters football game.
“Jamieson, a lot of people know him as whisky,” Craske described her son. “He’s number 53 that’s his nick name on the team.”
That’s her son. He’s the star linebacker for the Hatters.
“When she wasn’t here I felt like a part of me wasn’t here and she’s always been my biggest cheerleader,” Jamieson said of his mom not being at his games.
After months of treatment to combat ovarian cancer Jamieson’s mom returned to that role, surrounded by an extended family of football parents, many of them showing compassion, as they too, have been touched by a different cancer.
“I’m an 18 year survivor of breast cancer and I was very fortunate that they caught it early,” Susan Macon explained.
“My mom had breast cancer my husband three sisters had breast cancer, one died and the other two have survived and so we do what we can do to support,” Deanne Piccirilli added.
And that’s why on this October Saturday fans donned their pink t-shirt’s, cheerleaders upgraded their pom-pom’s, players wore pink socks and some even coloring their hair to bring awareness to the disease.
The same one that took Jamieson’s grandmother, Carolyn, back in January of 2016.
“My mother in law suffered from breast cancer and we lost her three years ago –it was the hardest thing to come to the campus and tell my son that his grandmother passed,” Lynn Craske explained.
Jamieson and Carolyn had a very close bond.
“She was the rock when I grew up. I mean I didn’t have a grandfather on my dad’s side so she was the one grandparent and she filled the role really well,” Jamieson said.
“To see her go through that battle was very difficult. This game always means more just thinking about her and understanding what she went through.”
When you see pink, what does that make you think of?
“Hope, hope for the future, for beating this cancer that women deal with and men every day,” Lynn added.
Hope to ring the bell not just for touchdowns but for a clean bill of health.
Who are you rooting for?
“All of them, I just don’t have any real favorites they are all my boys (laughter),” Macon said while smiling.
These fans and survivors happy to be together, spending their Saturday’s rooting for the Hatters and living for the hugs with their loved ones after the clock runs out.