Wednesday, August 12, 2009

MILLERSTRONG: Lax for Cancer!

In the mid-atlantic region, the lacrosse community has always been a strong and intimate one. Through summer tournaments, camps and clinics, players and their parents from all over are brought together by their passion for the sport. The bond is significant and strong, which is why the overwhelming involvement of the lacrosse community at the 2nd Annual Millerstrong Lacrosse Classic was no surprise.

The mission of the Millerstrong Lacrosse Classic is to utilize the lacrosse community to raise the voice of the We Believe Foundation in support of teens and young adults battling cancer. Millerstrong educates teens and young adults about early detection and gives lacrosse fans the opportunity to watch top notch lacrosse players in action, while they play in honor of Cancer Warriors.

Matt Miller, the inspiration for the event and the young man who is the reason behind the We Believe Foundation, kicked off The 2nd Annual Millerstrong Lacrosse Classic on Saturday, August 1. Matt was diagnosed with testicular cancer in his senior year at DeMatha Catholic High School. He was one week away from receiving his official scholarship offer to play lacrosse at Drexel University. Matt was immediately taken into surgery for tumor chemotherapy. His journey with cancer was tough and painful, but through it all, Matt and his family always believed he would conquer cancer and be able to step on the field to lead his team as a Senior Captain that year. Matt achieved his goal and so much more. At the Millerstrong Lacrosse Classic, Matt’s mother, Sarah Miller announced that Matt has been cancer free for one year and she proudly watched him step on the field to play in the games that day with nearly 100 fellow lacrosse players honoring their own Cancer Warriors.

The Classic included guest speaker, Dave Pietramala, Head Coach for the Johns Hopkins University Men’s Lacrosse team. With the same enthusiasm Coach Pietramala uses to motivate his teams to National Championships, he spoke about how to overcome obstacles and maintain a positive attitude in the face of a cancer diagnosis.

After Coach Pietramala shared his message, each player was introduced and took a knee for the Cancer Warrior they were playing in honor of. After introductions were made, the day was filled with competitive lacrosse as Team Courage played Team Strength and Team Hope played Team Believe.

The stands were filled with lacrosse fans of all ages, and floating through the bleachers you could spot Mary Kay representatives dressed in bright pink t-shirts helping the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults “Ban the Burn” by handing out free sunscreen!

The Millerstrong Classic was more than just a lacrosse tournament. The players that took the field that day played with more than a heart filled with passion for the game. They played with passion for a cause that is greater than goals and assists. They played for those who are fighting and those who they have lost.

For more information on the Millerstrong Classic and the We Believe Foundation please visit:

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