Pilots Stand Up to Cancer
On Jan. 12, science and basketball collided in an effort to raise money for cancer research happening right on Bethel’s campus. The event, called stand up to cancer, raised more than $1,000 that will go toward equipment that will enhance undergraduate research capabilities at Bethel.
“The purpose of the event was to bring awareness to the cancer research at Bethel, raise funds for the science department and, most importantly, to stand up to cancer together as a community,” says Head Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Lightfoot (’78).
During the men’s basketball game against Indiana Wesleyan, faculty, staff, students and community members were invited to write the name of their friend or loved one on a sign that read, “I stand up for ________.”
At halftime, former Bethel baseball standouts Eric Stults (’02), pitcher for the San Diego Padres, and Justin Masterson (attended ’03-’05), pitcher for the Cleveland Indians, spoke about how cancer has affected their own families. They signed items for fans, with all proceeds going to Bethel’s cancer research. In addition, 50 percent of the proceeds from ticket sales for the game went to the science department, as well as proceeds from the coaching clinic Stults and Masterson held for area baseball coaches and players earlier in the day.
Having this support from the athletic department, the administration and the community was overwhelming for Associate Professor of Biochemistry Lynne Cary, Ph.D., who directs the Undergraduate Research Group (URG) at Bethel. “I’m really humbled that they wanted to help us with this,” she said.
Since 2006, Cary has focused the research on breast cancer, inspired by her dear friend, former Bethel business professor Leslie Greising, Ph.D., who was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer that year.
With funding from a Lilly Endowment through a QUEST grant and the construction of a new science wing complete with state-of- the-art labs in 2007, Cary was able to provide students with a research experience comparable to that of a major research institution.
Currently, the URG is studying how chemotherapy treatments affect nontarget cells, such as liver cells. Their hope is that their research could lead to more research that would improve the effectiveness of cancer treatment.