Leaps And Bounds Against Breast Cancer
By Lilly Overmyer
Special to GoHolyCross.com
As a senior on the track and field team Matthew Liguori (Norwood, N.J.) is dedicated to his sport, and as co-chair of Holy Cross for a Cure he is passionate about helping those affected by breast cancer.
Coming to Holy Cross as a freshman, Liguori was mainly focused on adjusting to academics and his position as a long jumper on the track and field team. Once Liguori was comfortable with his routine as a student-athlete he wanted to get more involved on campus so that he could meet new people and be a part of purposeful club or organization. By the close of freshman year Liguori was involved with one of the most prominent clubs on campus, HC For A cure.
Liguori sees his involvement with the track and field team and HC for a Cure as integrally connected because without track he may not have ever joined the organization. When Liguori was a freshman on the track and field team he met Michelle McGahan, a junior at the time, and was inspired to join the club. “I saw Michelle as a close friend and a mentor. She was a leader on the track team and was always welcoming and helpful to the younger members.” He explained that in addition to her leadership on the team, she was also very vocal about her involvement with HC for a Cure. “She was extremely passionate about the club because of the good cause it worked towards, and her enthusiasm to work to find a cure for breast cancer was contagious.”
Liguori and head strength and conditioning coach Jeff Oliver at 2014 Benching for Breast Cancer.
Because of McGahan, Liguori was motivated to join HC for a Cure so that he could also help in the fight against breast cancer that takes tens of thousands of lives a year in the US alone. “Joining as a freshman to now being co-chair has been awesome because I have been able to see it grow and thrive especially with our largest event Benching for Breast Cancer. ”
Once Liguori got involved with HC for a Cure he saw what all the hype was about. “The club is great because it is all about coming together to fight something bigger than yourself.” While hours of organization, club meetings and preparation for events may seem tedious, Liguori happily oversees all operations knowing that they are small steps to helping fight the bigger fight of finding a cure for breast cancer. “The members of HC for a Cure are always ready to help sell t-shirts, raise awareness with events and volunteer in various ways. Like myself, they know how important this club is to many people who have been personally affected by the disease.”
He explained that it is a really important club on campus because it allows those who have been personally hurt or affected by breast cancer to stand up against it and fight it through monetary donations and awareness programs. “Many people like myself join because it is a really great cause to help support, while others are motivated by a closer personal connection to the disease. Breast cancer has some way or another affected everyone, through family or friends, and those who have been affected want to give back and fight for a cure.”
Liguori thinks it is important for athletes to branch out and become involved with the some of the many organizations and opportunities on campus. “Athletics are a huge part of the Holy Cross community, and I think it’s important to diversify what you do here on campus and who you interact with. HC for a Cure has been such a privilege for me because it has introduced me to so many new people and a very important cause.”
Liguori and Emma O'Brien at 2015 Benching for Breast Cancer.
Money raised by HC for a Cure is sent to Pink Revolution, an organization based in Worcester that collects donations to fund research and patient care at UMass Memorial Hospital. The organization works closely with the UMas Memorial Comprehensive Breast Center to promote early detection and awareness. Since its creation HC for a Cure has worked closely with Pink Revolution donating around $10,000 a year! Liguori respects the mission of Pink Revolution and the hard work of its members and appreciates the long standing relationship between HC for a Cure and the organization. “We have a wonderful relationship with the organization and the staff members who work there. They come to help support Pink the Rink, Benching for Breast Cancer and some of our other fundraisers.”
Throwing fundraisers is one of HC for a Cure’s primary functions. Each year they throw several on campus, including the very popular Benching for Breast Cancer coming up on December 9.
Liguori says that Benching for Breast Cancer is his favorite event that his club throws.
“During Benching for Breast cancer HC for a Cure brings the general student body and all athletic teams together for an amazing event. It is great to see how everyone comes together to enthusiastically raise money for those who need it most.”
Another member of HC for a Cure, junior lacrosse student-athlete Anna Tanji, also says that Benching for Breast Cancer is her favorite event. “The days leading up to the event are really exciting. I usually sell t-shirts in the Hogan lobby and advertise the event. For the actual event everyone gets super pumped and is very encouraging to each other.”
HC for a Cure at the 2015 UMass Cancer Walk.
Liguori’s leadership in HC for a Cure has helped the club grow, and he plans to continue making the club great before he graduates. “I want to end my senior year proud of the work I have done with this club, so I am going to put all of my best efforts into the events and raising awareness on campus before I graduate.” HC for a Cure has been a very prominent group on campus, and Liguori is confident that the current members will continue the legacy that he helped build.
To register for this year's Benching for Breast Cancer click here.
For more informatino on PINK Revolution click here.