Patrick Gilbert, Men’s Club Lacrosse THON Chair, tells us all about Dustin Beaver and his experience as Boy of the Year!
Dustin Beaver was diagnosed with Leukemia on December 23, 2010. Upon joining the Four Diamonds Fund, the Beavers were adopted by the Men and Women’s Club Lacrosse Teams, and they were blown away by their first THON experience this past year.
The Men and Women’s Club Lacrosse Teams consider the Beaver Family to be a part of their own. Throughout THON weekend, at least one of Dustin’s many family members were down on the floor to support their dancers at all times. In return, the team members are constantly keeping contact with the family and planned visits several times throughout the year; and they are adamant on turning Dustin into a future lacrosse star.
This year Dustin turned 13 years old and is in remission, and he is now using his incredible personality to take the fight against cancer to another level.
He was asked to be the Honored Patient Boy of the Year for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Man and Woman of the Year (MWOY) 2012 for the Harrisburg Area and the Lancaster/York areas. The MWOY campaign was an 8 week long race which started February 23rd, 2012. Yes, 4 days after their 1st THON! After an incredible weekend with the Club Lacrosse Teams, Dustin and his family were inspired to give everything they could to a great cause.
The male and female who raise the most money through events or donations won the title of the local chapter. There were 12 candidates (5 men & 7 women) in Harrisburg, and 7 candidates (2 men & 5 women) in Lancaster/York. This was the 1st year for the Lancaster/York campaign, so they started out small and asked Dustin and Ashley Fazekas to cover both campaigns.
The candidates run in honor of the Boy & Girl of the year, who are local blood cancer patient survivors and sources of inspiration to others. Dustin’s job as Boy of the Year was to encourage, support & motivate the candidates running for MWOY. He did an awesome job communicating with the candidates and participating in many fun events.
Dustin and his family attended a total of 27 different events ranging from a Senators baseball game where Dustin was the Hometown Hero and threw out the 1st pitch, being interviewed on the local Country Music station, to judging food at Super Chef with Jon Ritchie, Nancy & Newman (BOB949) & Denise DelGrosso. Dustin received so much encouragement and support through this journey. Their family was introduced on stage many times and shared his story so people could see and hear the importance of giving to such a worthy cause. The campaign is over, but a lot of the candidates have become their extended family and have taken Dustin on outings and keep in touch.
“For The Kids!"