DALLAS TWP. —Nick Stanovick is continuing the battle against cancer that his mother, Lucy, started.
Cancer claimed her life in 2012, but her son, now a Misericordia University sophomore, will hold the seventh Party 4 Life fundraiser later this month on his college’s campus.
When Lucy Stanovick was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer in 2008, she knew the odds were against her, but she also knew that more research was needed to find a cure and more awareness needed to be raised about this particular form of cancer.
So she formed the Lucy Fund, and during her 4 1/2-year battle with the disease, she organized five Party 4 Life events herself – all of which benefited The Lucy Fund.
After she died, on Aug. 16, 2012, her family — husband John and children Nick and Katie — held one additional Party 4 Life, bringing the total funds raised from the events to $240,000. That money has been donated to assist research efforts at the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) and the NFCR Center for Metastasis Research at The University of Kansas Medical Center under the direction of Dr. Danny Welch.
“Our goal is to fund research that will lead to the ability to control metastasis,’’ said Nick, an English and philosophy double major at Misericordia. “Ninety percent of people who die from cancer die because their cancer has metastasized, but less than 5 percent of cancer funding research goes into that.’’
So to keep his mother’s legacy alive — and to possibly help prevent others from going through the same thing he and his family have — Nick has made The Lucy Fund his life’s mission. As part of that was the decision to organize the inaugural “Party 4 Life at Misericordia University.”
It will be held March 29-30 on that school’s campus. The event kicks off March 29 with the Platinum Street Ballers competing in a basketball game in the Anderson Sports and Health Center at 3 p.m. Tickets for the game are $3.
Registration for “Party 4 Life’’ is 4-4:30 p.m. March 30 in Sandy and Marlene Insalaco Hall. The event in Dudrick, Muth, Huntzinger and Alden trust rooms 216-219 is 4-8 p.m. It features food, activities, games, a balloon release and guest speakers, including members of the Stanovick family.
There is a suggested donation of $10 each to participate.
The university has gotten behind Nick’s efforts and has helped in any way it can.
“Nick approached our department with the idea to engage the community in raising money to fight cancer. It is a worthy endeavor because there is not a person out there who has not been affected by cancer in some way,” Darcy Brodmerkel, director of Student Activities at Misericordia, said. “Nick has taken a personal tragedy and turned it into a vehicle to help others and to keep his mother’s memory alive. It has been an honor to assist him as he continues his work to rid future generations of metastatic cancer.’’
Nick said his efforts have become his passion and noted his mother’s death “has created a purpose for me in my life.”
“We’re trying to make metastatic cancer chronic, not deadly … ,’’ Nick said. “We want to make it like being diagnosed with diabetes.’’
Help from friends
And it’s not just Nick who has taken the fundraiser to his campus. His Pleasant Valley High School friends Sami Phillips and Jalen Bolt have held or plan to hold similar fundraisers at Susquehanna University and Temple University to help get out the word about the Lucy Fund.
“College students are willing to back a cause,” Nick said. “You just have to give them one.”
The efforts that have been a part of his family for the past six years also has led Nick to make bringing attention and raising money for fighting the disease a career goal.
The 2012 Pleasant Valley High School graduate has secured a paid summer internship with the NFCR in Bethesda, Md., and envisions working for the national agency after graduation. And Jalen and Sami will join him.
Nick said he sees a future with the Lucy Fund, making it a national brand so that attention and funds can be directed to a worthy goal of stopping cancer from metastasizing.
His mom, he noted, “didn’t die because she had cancer in her breasts. She died of liver failure because the cancer spread.”
He said if more efforts were spent on stopping the spread of cancer, rather than curing cancer, he said more people would live and more families wouldn’t have to go through the heartache that his did.
“We’re a lot closer than people think,” Nick said. “There have been significant advancements made.”