By BETSEY BURGDORF : As printed by The Westfield Leader : April 28, 2011
On Saturday, April 30, the Westfield High School (WHS) Blue Devils girls and boys lacrosse teams will hold the Blue Devils’ “Score for a Cause” fundraiser at Kehler Stadium to benefit the HEADstrong Foundation. The campaign raises funds by players obtaining sponsorship from family and friends who have agreed to contribute a variable amount for each goal the team scores during regular season games. Set donations also are accepted.
Nick Colleluori, a Division 1 lacrosse player at Hofstra University, started the HEADstrong Foundation after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma while in his sophomore year of college. During his battle with the disease, Nick began researching non-profit organizations and also shared his story online, hoping it would raise awareness. After Nick lost his 14-month battle with his disease on November 28, 2006, his family expanded on his groundwork and the HEADstrong Foundation grew. His story, and his foundation, have become a source of support and inspiration for those afflicted and affected by the disease.
Katherine Frega, a senior at WHS and a member of the girls’ varsity lacrosse team, can relate all too well to Nick’s story. In January of 2010, she was misdiagnosed with what doctors thought was juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Her doctor prescribed a number of medications to treat the disease and relieve her extreme joint pain. Despite the medications, her condition continued to worsen. A CT scan and X-ray revealed a mass in her chest. On May 17, 2010 she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma stage IIB.
Feature photo courtesy of Bill Howard