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MCLA Announces Awareness Partnership With HEADstrong

HEADstrong_Foundation-LogoHolmes, PA – The Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) is proud to announce an awareness partnership with the HEADstrong Foundation™ (HF). This season, over 200 collegiate club programs and over 5,000 athletes will help advance the mission of the organization by wearing HEADstrong’s signature lime green shoelaces. The laces are just part of the long-term commitment that the MCLA has made in supporting the cause. From observing blood cancer awareness games to fundraising through special events and tournaments each of the 10 MCLA conferences has elected to support the cause in their own way.

“Heightened visibility and awareness of the cause is one of the most important elements of this new partnership with the MCLA. Given the diverse landscape of the MCLA we believe that this relationship is a huge opportunity. It is a chance to gain visibility on college campuses across the country, helping serve as a foundation for future growth. Additionally, it is a powerful statement in support of those who have been affected by the diseases. This is a chance to unite all of the players and programs of the MCLA in remembrance of our founder. We have the upmost respect for the players of the MCLA, the challenges that they face as independent organizations, building support on their respected campuses, getting the most from their operational budgets and gaining recognition is nothing shy of relentless and we are very proud to work alongside of them.” – Pat Colleluori, HEADstrong CMO & Nick’s Brother With the MCLA National Tournament being held in Orange County, California this year, HEADstrong and the MCLA have decided to make a regional impact by earmarking a portion of the funds raised this season to support the Nicholas E. Colleluori Research Fund at the City of Hope in Duarte, California. The HEADstrong Foundation is a proud supporter of the City of Hope located in Duarte, California awarding research grant monies to fund the research project of Hua Yu, Ph.D., Professor of Cancer Immunotherapeutics & Tumor Immunology.  The funded study involves Diffuse large B-cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) which is the most common subtype of the non-Hodgkins’s Lymphoma and accounts for approximately 40% of all cases. Dr. Yu is developing a novel approach to treat Activated B-cell DLBCL, the most difficult to treat type of DLBCL. This treatment involves using the body’s immune system to attack malignant cells, and simultaneously suppressing STAT3, a gene that promotes tumor growth. This method of introducing this therapy is being studied currently, and will be followed by the first in-human trials for the treatment of Activated B-Cell DLBCL.

“We are excited to have the MCLA partner with such a fantastic organization as HEADstrong. The entire membership of the MCLA will embrace this new relationship. With our nationwide reach we hope to assist HEADstrong in all forms of blood cancer awareness. Our member teams, conferences and National Tournament are all committed to this relationship” Ken Lovic, MCLA President “On behalf of the HEADstrong Foundation and those affected by blood cancers we wish to extend our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the MCLA for helping us further our mission within the lacrosse community. The game continues to be a common denominator for us as we continue to grow and over the years we have emerged humbly as a national resource to cancer patients and their families. Our Nick was 19 at the time of his diagnosis and we believe the cause definitely hits home for these young men playing in the MCLA. We are really taken back to know that over 5,000 college athletes at over 200 programs in the U.S. and Canada will be embracing the cause and helping to raise funds to support the essential services that we offer. We wish to convey our sincere appreciation to MCLA President Ken Lovic, the Executive Committee and the Conference Directors who have embraced our cause. We thank you for giving us the opportunity to share with you and your programs the necessity of our organization and how they can unite in the fight against blood cancers. “- Cheryl Colleluori, HEADstrong President and Nick’s Mom.

About HEADstrong Foundation
The HEADstrong Foundation™ is a 501(c)(3) committed to being a resource for blood cancer patients and their families, helping them to navigate the harrowing ordeal of cancer by providing essential services to improve quality of life.

HEADstrong™ is an athletic rooted organization that serves the cancer community by granting direct financial assistance to those financially impacted as a result of the disease, by providing complimentary long-term housing and amenities for those traveling to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for cancer related treatments through Nick’s House™, by funding innovative blood cancer research through the Nicholas E. Colleluori Lymphoma research fund, by serving family meals and offering outlets of entertainment for those receiving care at hospitals, by delivering comfort kits to newly hospitalized patients preparing for treatment or transplant and by lending an arm of support through their peer to peer advocacy group.

The blueprints for the Foundation were conceptualized by Nicholas “HEAD” Colleluori in 2006, while he underwent treatment for non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, which ultimately claimed his life. Today, Nick’s vision is being fulfilled through the relentless efforts of his family, athletes and supporters across the country uniting in the fight against blood cancers.

For more information on the HEADstrong Foundation™ and how they are Getting aHEAD of Cancer™ go to www.HEADstrong.org.