Former Teammates Attacking Cancer From All Angles
The last two years haven’t been easy on anyone, but for Noah Dogon, a leukemia diagnosis during his senior year at Bishop Hendricken in Rhode Island changed everything.
Diagnosed in May of 2021 during his senior year, Dogon has been undergoing chemotherapy since. With weekly doctor’s appointments and the occasional hospital stay, including a trip to the ICU due to a lung infection, he has placed his plans to attend the University of Rhode Island on hold until he is feeling better.
Throughout it all, his former teammates have had his back. Last year the team shaved their heads for Dogon and dedicated the season to him and have kept in touch throughout his treatments.
Now with his cancer mostly under control, Dogon will be undergoing a bone marrow transplant at Boston Children’s Hospital in April. It was that news that really spurred former teammate Luke Mead into action.
“I signed up for the HEADstrong Foundation and then heard a couple days later around school that Noah was going to be having a bone marrow transplant,” Mead explained. I was like ‘Well this is a good organization. I wonder if I could just reach out and see if they’re going to be able to help him after the procedure with anything that might come up. So that’s kind of when I reached out to Noah and HEADstrong and got the ball rolling.”
Teammates during club lacrosse with the 3D Bears, the two just missed playing with each other at Bishop Hendricken when COVID-19 halted Dogon’s junior, Mead’s sophomore, season and then Dogon didn’t play as a senior due to his diagnosis. That didn’t stop Mead, a long stick midfielder who will play collegiate lacrosse at Bryant University starting in April, from wanting to help his friend.
For Mead, participating in Attack Cancer is not only a way to help a friend, but also a way to help build team cohesion and morale.
“I see the HEADstrong Foundation as a double bladed sword because you have all the benefits that are helping the people who are getting treatment, like Noah, and there are all these medical bills,” he said. “It goes a long way, obviously the money that everyone raises to help these people out. And then, from the other side of it are the people that are volunteering their time and going out of their way to raise money and with donations, it can help a lot from a team building aspect and morale from a team to put something behind what you’re playing for…I think there’s a lot of cool things and a lot of benefits on both sides of a foundation like this for everyone that takes part.”
For Noah, the support from Mead, and subsequently the HEADstrong Foundation, through the Attack Cancer initiative has made all of the difference.
“I talked to Luke about how there’s a lot of small things that the financial part helps with, but it feels more like a morale thing where I know people are thinking about me, especially the kids on the lacrosse team which is a big part of school is the sports aspect,” Dogon explained. “It’s really just an uplifting kind of feeling.”