To help raise vital funds for one of the nation’s largest cancer research institutions, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
My passion comes from my personal battle with cancer.
As someone who has lost family members and has endured a personal battle with cancer, I wanted to become more than just a donor. I wanted to be an activist.
Scott Hamilton, an Olympic gold medalist figure skater, was diagnosed with cancer. I had the chance to hear him speak at our yearly cancer survivor meeting. He said, “I wanted to become more than just a donor, I wanted to be an activist.” This was the exact feeling I got when I was diagnosed with cancer. It affected me personally, and played a big part in making Layups 4 Life come together.
We're grateful for our accomplishments.
In just two years of operation, Layups 4 Life has raised closed to $30,000 which has been donated within different departments at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Some of those departments have been in bone marrow, leukemia and pediatric cancer research. We have also donated money to the fellowship program at Sloan.
The moment I felt lit up with joy.
Our first year, when our grand fundraising total was over $10k. My goal was to raise around $5k so we doubled that. I was absolutely thrilled. Additionally, in our first year we had 40 teams register, I was crossing my fingers for at least 20!
One group of guys created 3 teams and donated $500 on the day of the event. Hearing their story and seeing them support their family members, brought me such joy. This has inspired us to give families an opportunity to speak and share about their personal experiences with cancer. Allowing individuals to share their voice, has opened up new possibilities of support and strengthened our community.
Unexpectedly this allowed me to take a personal experience and use it as a vehicle to help others in their fight against this disease.
Life can be un-expecting in itself and during my fight with cancer, it made me realize that there is much that needs to be done to those who may need help in the near or distant future.
The biggest challenge in accomplishing our mission.
Our current challenge is a good one. We are looking to host our annual 3-on-3 basketball tournament at a larger venue so the challenge lies within finding the right place that will allow us to continue our growth. Our basketball tournament currently takes place in New Jersey with the hopes of it spreading along the East Coast.
I'd like to acknowledge my incredible fiance.
Dana Levine has stepped up and been a leader with me the entire way. Without her support, drive and passion, Layups 4 Life would not be nearly as successful as it is. I would also like to acknowledge the supportive staff at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, specifically Colleen Hanley.
In the future the basketball tournament will be twice a year.
Our vision is to have one in the Spring (which is what we currently do) and maybe one in the Summer, right before the Fall season, August is looking promising.