Dear Lancer Families,
My wardrobe does not boast many pink items. Yet, in October, or for any good cause, I will wear whatever color matters. This month, pink matters.
To the more than 3.8 million women in the United States who are dealing with or who have survived breast cancer and the approximately 2,650 men who will be diagnosed this year, pink matters. The color serves as an awareness for a disease that has become the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women and, as of 2021, became the most common cancer globally according to the World Health Organization. The chances that your life will be touched by someone with breast cancer is, sadly, very high. So, this month, we proudly wear our pink and support causes and businesses raising money to fight breast cancer.
Today is also National Mammography Day – a great time to remind loved ones how important it is to get checked yearly.
More personally this year, we are wearing pink this Saturday at our final football home game to not only honor those touched by breast cancer, but also to support our colleague and friend, Derek "Coach" Sparks. We realize Derek's diagnosis is a different form of cancer traditionally represented by the color purple. However, to show support for his daughter who battled cancer a couple of years ago, Derek founded the charity Cleats vs. Cancer whose logo colors are pink and black. To symbolically connect with his personal journey, we are selling a pink and black "Sparks Strong" t-shirt to help his family with medical expenses. Wear them this Saturday for a Lancer PINK OUT. T-shirts may still be purchased HERE and picked up at Highline Stadium before the game.
This morning, Spokane's Spokesman Review published a lengthy feature on Coach Sparks and his fight against cancer. While Coach Sparks has been public about a number of elements of his fight, some of the information shared in the article had been kept private until now. For the past six weeks, Coach Sparks has been treated at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, one of the top cancer treatment facilities in the world. His doctors have implemented an aggressive regime to treat his Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, which has also metastasized to his liver. Earlier this week, Coach Sparks underwent surgery to remove his adrenal glands which were interfering with his treatment. He is recovering and ready to start the next phase of his fight. He draws great strength from the efforts of this community that he has adopted as his home, so a stadium full of pink will be a source of inspiration for him in the weeks and months to come.
To all those in the Lancer community who are personally or publicly dealing with cancer, we pray for your healing and for God to walk with you every step of the way.