Simpson community turns out strong for cancer fundraiser

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by Rachel Peterson, Features editor

On Labor Day, nearly 200 Simpson College students and Indianola community members came to Kent Campus Center for a lunch and silent auction to support the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation.

The event also raised money for Simpson student Zach Hale. Hale is a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and an assistant coach for the men’s golf team.

Hale was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2013 during the fall of his senior year.  

Hale had his right testicle removed in October 2013. In the CT scans following his surgery, no cancer appeared. In May of this year, the scans showed his cancer had returned.

“Physically it’s been a roller coaster. Mentally, he has turned the corner. Early on he was frustrated, but he’s seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. He has one or two more sessions of chemo, and then he will be done. It sounds like it will take care of all the cancer,” said Hale’s brother, Seth.

Sophomore Danielle Dawson, a marketing intern for Chartwells, planned the Labor Day event.

Dawson’s goal was to create awareness about testicular cancer during the community outreach event.

“There’s so much out on there on cancer, but a lot of it focuses on other types. It’s nice to be able to bring attention to another type of cancer that is very common and curable if it is caught in time,” she said.

 Seth, along with Zach’s girlfriend, junior Ruth Roberts, echoed Dawson’s emphasis on awareness.

“You always hear about childhood or adult cancer, but you don’t think about it hitting young adults. You don’t think that it’s something that could affect us, but every male on this campus should be aware of his risk,” Roberts said.

“I know for my brother, the biggest thing would be awareness. It can come out of nowhere. Learn to know the warning signs,” Seth said.

Testicular Cancer is the leading cancer in men ages 15-to-35 according to the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation’s website. If detected early, it is over 95 percent curable.

A portion of the profit from the $7 lunch and silent auction baskets went to the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation. A free will donation was also available to donate to Hale’s medical fund.

Over $520 was raised for Hale and another $709 went to the foundation, according to Dawson.

“It was a big success and we are so happy with how much was raised for each party,” she said.

Roberts said she has seen a tremendous amount of generosity from peers during this difficult time for the Hale family.

“It’s opened my eyes to how simple a gesture is. A simple ‘Hello’ or ‘How are you’ goes a long way,” she said.

Seth has learned an important life lesson from his brother’s cancer.

“When things like this pop up, it really makes you take a step back and realize the importance of life and loving on people. Focus on family and caring for people,” he said.

To find out more about Hale’s condition and donate to his medical fund, visit giveforward.com and search for “Zach Attack Cancer Fund”. More information about testicular cancer can be found at testicularcancerawarenessfoundation.org.