By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 11/28/11
For more than 13 months, the Chestnut Hill College men’s lacrosse team has watched their teammate, Shane Franzone, fight a rare blood disease with style and grace and the type of determination that would make any lacrosse player proud.
So to create a special day for Shane and his family, Chestnut Hill has organized a fundraiser called “Balls to the Wall,” on Saturday, Dec. 10 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Plymouth Whitemarsh High.
Franzone, a Norristown grad, suffers from aplastic anemia, a blood disease where bone marrow fails to produce adequate counts of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Since being diagnosed just after the 4th annual Nick Colleluori Classic in October of 2010 while a freshman, Franzone has spent nearly all his time at Children Hospital and has endured a bone marrow transplant, several other serious surgeries and continuing complications. He remains in very serious condition.
The “Balls to the Wall’ event will be held on December 10th at Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School from 10am-3pm. Sponsors include the HEADstrong Foundation, Maverick Lacrosse and Baggataway LC.
“What Shane has gone through is just unbelievable,” said Chestnut Hill College head coach Brian Dougherty. “It’s unimaginable for me to think of all he has had to endure; these are some of the most painful procedures to go through. And he keeps on fighting.
“His family is just awesome. Since it was Thanksgiving, we wanted to reach out to the lacrosse community and raise as much money as possible. One hundred percent of it will go to Shane and his family for bills.”
Franzone’s birthday is Dec. 12.
“We want to hand the family a big check on Dec. 12. Our team’s personal goal is to raise $7,500 by ourselves.”
The event is simple, but helpful to any lacrosse player. Participants of any age or gender can come to P-W and catch and throw against the wall at the back of the high school off Germantown Pike in Plymouth Meeting. Chestnut Hill players and many others from the lacrosse community will give tips and some instruction as players hone skills, hang out and make a donation of their choice.
There also will be an auction of sports memorabilia while individuals from Maverik, the HEADstrong Foundation and Baggataway Lacrosse Club, the event sponsors, will be present.
Dougherty, a key member of the 2010 World Cup champions and a former standout of the two-time champion Philadelphia Barrage, asks that all players bring their helmets, sticks, gloves and goggles (girls) and plan to participate rain or shine.
“I have to give the credit for the idea to our assistant coach, Adam Eddinger,” said Doughert. “And whatever people can donate is great; $5, $10, $20.
“Every bit helps. The idea is that everyone can get better while helping great cause and learning something while having fun. There’s a lot of positive things.”
If you are interested in attending the event or donating to the cause, you can download information from the Facebook group or contact Adam Eddinger with Chestnut Hill Lacrosse at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for the pledge/ sponsor form on Google docs.
Click here for YouTube video introducing Shane Franzone as a brother to the Chestnut Hill college team.
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