I played basketball in high school…poorly. At 5’2”, I wasn’t out-rebounding anyone, and I didn’t possess any natural speed or strength. What I did have was pure love for the game.
I was the fifth starter during my senior year when I injured my wrist only a few weeks into the season. Feeling devastated, I knew I’d lose my position and wondered aloud to my father (who was also the coach) what a doctor would tell me. He laughed.
“I’m not taking you to a doctor, Bree,” he answered. We felt certain it wasn’t broken but that it would take time to heal. He proposed to tape my wrist each game to the point where I could use my hand but not bend my wrist.
“But how will I shoot?” I asked. Again, he laughed.
“When have we ever needed you to shoot to win a game?”
He was right, and he was letting me know where my greatest strengths were. I would never be tall, would never be the leading rebounder. Instead, it was my job to block opposing shooters from following up their shots and denying their rebounds. I would never be really fast, but I was the perfect player to stay near the backcourt, anticipating a fast break. It was my job to get the ball into the hands of our star shooters. Even with a busted wrist and a short stature, I played a vital role and made our team better.
When my sister, Dena, asked me if I would like to help raise money for KCCure, I agreed without hesitation. I thought of her husband, Chris, who fought bravely against kidney cancer for years—but lost. I thought of my beautiful nieces, who are both so bright and strong but now have a greater risk of developing kidney cancer in the future. And I thought of Dena, who despite losing her husband continues to be a champion in this fight.
You bet I’m ready to help.
But then I was troubled—how could I possibly contribute? I’m no scientist, nor medical researcher or oncologist. I am not a patient or a caregiver. What role could I play on this team? Turns out, a very vital one, and you too.
We can join KCCure’s No Tie July campaign and pledge at least a dollar a day to kidney cancer research for the entire month. I can ask my friends to match or exceed that donation. I can post pictures on social media and spread the word about what we’re doing, and I can ask the people I know to do the same.
The more people we reach, the more opportunity we have to fund kidney cancer research and develop a cure.
We can all help feed the ball into the hands of the real stars—the researchers, doctors, patients and caregivers who take the shots to put the score in our favor. These shots are taken in the form of research and clinical trials, which don’t exist without the necessary funds. This is why KC Cure exists. Will you join our team and help advance the effort to cure kidney cancer? The ball is in your court.