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Rose Praises Continued Fight Against Cancer


MOOSIC — Dave Rose has been involved in Coaches

vs. Cancer for more than

20 years. But the former longtime Brigham Young University men’s basketball coach got a new perspective

10 years ago when he was diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer.

“The biggest change is that we always helped the kids or the parents as almost kind of like, ‘We don’t know how you feel, but we’re going to try to help you get through it,’ ” he said. “But now we know how you feel and we’re still going to try to help you get through it.”

Rose beat the disease and travels the country attending galas like the Spring Fling at Glenmaura National Golf Club on Saturday, where he was the keynote speaker.

“What they’re doing for one night is shelling out some money, but what they’re actually doing is really helping guys like me that have been through the disease,” Rose said. “You don’t want to sit in that hospital bed all by yourself thinking you’ve got to fight this alone. These kind of things show there’s so many people that are supporting you.

“When you get an event where you see so many people participating, the support gives you hope and it gives you faith that we’re all doing something to try to help that patient, who is suffering from the disease and I think that’s probably the greatest thing that these events do besides the money.”

Rose was joined by his wife Cheryl, who has also been heavily involved in cancer research funding and also spoke at the event.

“I have four sisters and all four have been diagnosed with cancer,” she said. “I lost my sister Janet to breast cancer nine years ago and I promised her before she passed that I would continue to be her voice and so any chance we get to speak and we can be involved and raise money to help with cancer research, we’re happy to do it.”

The honoree at the gala was Michael Curry Burke, who was diagnosed with Burkitt’s Lymphoma when he was 12 years old, but went on to play football at Scranton Prep.

“I think being 12 years old at the time presented a unique challenge to me to figure out how I’m going to process this in the moment, how to try to be strong through this, how to do whatever I can do to try and beat this,” Burke said. “Ultimately what I realized at 12 is something that I still know now at 24 and it’ll be the case when I’m 64 and it’s relying on the folks around me.

“I think that as time has gone on I’ve been able to see all of the ways in which I’ve benefited from these acts of kindness and generosity that other people have given to people in circumstances like mine. You kind of develop that much more of an appreciation for the value of these things large and small that people do.”

Spring Fling wrapped up the local Coaches vs. Cancer program’s 11th campaign, which is a combined effort of the Lackawanna League and Wyoming Valley Conference and has raised more than

$2 million to help area residents in their fight with cancer.

“When you hear the stories and you continue to read in the paper that people are battling this, it’s just something if we can try and help, I think we all need to continue to fight and try to raise awareness,” said Andrew Kettel, Scranton Prep boys basketball coach and chairman of the local effort. “The awareness is there. Everyone knows it’s bad but really it’s the funds. Getting people together and raising money for research.”

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