St. John’s University, Jamaica, head men’s basketball coach Steve Lavin is busy preparing for the upcoming college season.
But his support for cancer research is often more important than the time he spends preparing for basketball games.
Lavin was honored by the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) at its seventh annual “Dream, Discover, Cure” golf tournament July 14 in Armonk, N.Y.
Lavin, who hosts PCRF’s “Dribble for the Cure” event each September on campus as part of St. John’s annual University Service Day, received the 2014 Dream Big Award at the golf event, which benefits research toward a cure of childhood cancers.
“As a cancer survivor, this award from the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation is deeply meaningful,” Lavin said. “The dreaded disease of cancer constantly reminds us how fragile, tenuous and precious life itself is. The suffering and loss of loved ones inspires us to continue the fight to eradicate cancer by finding a cure for this dreaded disease. I’m grateful to be able to join those who champion the worthy cause to fight cancer.”
Lavin has led more than 1,000 fans and the Red Storm men’s and women’s basketball teams in raising $125,000 for pediatric cancer research during the Dribble for the Cure event at St. John’s. The annual event began in 2011 and reached a third-year individual-event record of $70,000 in September, 2013, when Lavin once again brought the St. John’s community together in raising awareness and funding for childhood cancer research in the New York City area.
All proceeds from Dribble for the Cure and the Dream, Discover, Cure golf event support the PCRF Laboratory directed by Dr. Mitchell Cairo at the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at New York Medical College in Westchester, N.Y.
Lavin, who recently concluded his fourth year at St. John’s, has been extensively involved in organizations like PCRF, the American Cancer Society and the Jimmy V Foundation throughout his coaching career. He had successful surgery to remove prostate cancer in 2011, and his family has been touched by cancer through the years, including his late father, Albert “Cap” Lavin, who was a 22-year prostate cancer survivor who also overcame skin cancer. Lavin’s mother Mary, who joined her son at the 2013 St. John’s Relay for Life for the Survivor’s Lap, is a skin cancer survivor as well.
Coaching college basketball on the big stage of New York City seems like it could easily become an all-encompassing task – but not for Lavin, who has remained dedicated to his work to aid cancer research.
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