Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men.
The estimates for prostate cancer in the United States for 2010 is about 217,713 new cases will be diagnosed and about 32,050 men will die from prostate cancer. About one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Prostate cancer accounts for approximately 11 percent of cancer-related deaths in men.
Seeing those statistics, a group of Eastwood High School “wrestling moms” looked at their own sons and the coaching staff, and decided that because wrestling is a male-dominated sport, they saw the potential in holding a fundraiser to raise awareness for prostate cancer at the 10-team Claire Simpson Eastwood Duals on February 5.
The “Pin to Win Against Cancer” fundraiser will include the selling of t-shirts, a silent auction, a bake sale and possibly sticker sale, multiple 50/50 raffles throughout the day, and the sale of paper “pins” to put on the team’s memory wall. All proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society.
The “wrestling moms” saw fundraisers being done by basketball, volleyball, and soccer teams for cancer awareness, so they wanted to get in on the action.
“My son, who is a wrestler, I just looked at him one day and said, ‘Why don’t we do anything for wrestling?’ and he says, ‘For breast cancer?’ and I said, ‘Yeah, all the wrestlers have moms.’ ‘Well, yeah, but all those kids have dads, too,’ he said, and that sort of hit home and there really isn’t anything out there,” said Vicki Welch, the mother of junior wrestler Jacob Welch.
“Again, it’s amazing, the (wrestling) staff in there — one in six men are going to be diagnosed with this, and knowing at that point we had 33 boys coming out for wrestling, so you’re thinking, gosh, six of those boys might come down with this and that’s just really staggering,” Vicki added.
She continued, “It’s amazing once we got started with this how many people you’re starting to find out are affected by it. On top of that, one out of 36 men will pass away from it, so you never realize how important this is.”
“We just want to get the word out there. We’ve been talking it up as much as we can, get the notice out there. We have just some amazing things being raffled,” said Vicki.
There is also the fight that Eastwood parent Douglas Seifert has had with cancer. Doug and his wife Vicki were consumed by Doug’s struggle, but Doug is a survivor and parent and high school secretary Jody Eaton says Doug “looks wonderful today.” That put the idea into Eaton’s head.
“Cheerleading, volleyball, everybody else is doing breast cancer, including the National Football League, so, okay what about prostate cancer which is affecting staff members and friends?” Eaton said.
Eaton said the event started as “Wrestling for a Cure” but they changed it to “Pin to Win,” or “Pin2Win” in its abbreviated form to sound more original.
“It’s wrestling related,” said Vicki Welch. “We also considered ‘takedown cancer’ because that’s wrestling.”
Eaton added, “And wrestling is to pin. You know, that means you have won your match. Pin cancer and win that battle.”
“So far, our support for this has just been phenomenal,” continued Eaton. “We’re going to be out here during basketball games that are not the same night as wrestling. The administration at the school has been very supportive of the whole thing.”
The late Claire Simpson, who the Eastwood Duals is named for, is a founding member of the Eastwood Wrestling Club and the father of former wrestler and later a wrestling parent, Scott Simpson. Claire Simpson passed away this past year, said Vicki Welch.
Building up to the event, organizers have been selling raffle tickets for numerous gift certificates and baskets. In addition, they are raffling off a t-shirt blanket compiled of as many different Eastwood sports as they could get shirts for. This was put together by the Vicki Welch’s mother. There are also light blue Find a Cure lanyards being sold for $3 and light blue bracelets made by Samantha Eaton for $2.
The list of silent auction items is long, but includes tickets to the University of Toledo men’s basketball games, Toledo Walleye and Mud Hens tickets, a family pass to Pemberville Community Pool, and much more. For the complete list, the Eastwood Wrestling Club has set up a page on Facebook.
Contact Vicki Welch at 419-410-7238 or firstname.lastname@example.org call Jody Eaton at the high school office at 419-833-3611.