TERRE HAUTE – Jon Prevo admitted he miscalculated the amount of time it had been since his wife, Deanna, won her fight with breast cancer.
“I thought it had been nine years,” the eighth-year Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology women’s basketball head coach said of her anniversary of remission, which came this past June.
She quickly reminded him – with a knowing smile – it was indeed, 10 years.
The decade-old accomplishment is just one story – though perhaps closest to the Fightin’ Engineers family – Saturday’s 1 p.m. contest with Transylvania University will serve to celebrate with Rose-Hulman’s eighth-annual breast cancer awareness game.
A ceremony with more than 40 Wabash Valley breast cancer survivors will take place 20 minutes before the tipoff at Hulbert Arena, at 12:40 p.m.
There, the survivors will be celebrated and honored with a presentation that hits very close to home for the Prevo family, which includes the couple’s 18-year old son, Nicholas. While the ceremony will honor a few area survivors, all the money raised from T-shirts, cotton candy sales, and other donations will go directly to the Wabash Valley Breast Cancer Survivors, Inc., organization. Last year, the event generated $1,200.
It’s the same group that helped Deanna – along with plenty of support for both her husband and son – during her three-year battle with the disease.
“That really inspired me even more to have the event,” Jon Prevo said, referring to the organization’s support. “It’s kind of my way of giving back to the organization that I felt was a huge inspiration in my wife’s battle with breast cancer, and not only the support they’ve given her, but just learning more about what cancer is.”
The funds raised are used for research as well as to offset costs for those in the Wabash Valley affected by breast cancer, including items like wigs, transportation to doctor’s appointments, and the cost of mammograms.
Over the past eight years, Prevo estimates the annual event has generated close to $8,000 for the organization. Even more, it’s opened his players’ eyes to why awareness of a disease that is estimated to affect 235,030 men and women in 2014, according to the Susan G. Komen foundation (regarding invasive cases).
“They see how important it is to me, and on the day of the event, when we’re introducing the survivors, they see the excitement and the joy on that person’s face – and I think it hits home a little bit more,” Prevo said.
T-shirts will be on sale at the game for $12 each, and all the proceeds from the gate will also be donated to Wabash Valley Breast Cancer Survivors, Inc. The funds will be presented by the team’s upperclassmen at an upcoming group meeting.
The shirts also have a new twist this year with a slogan that puts even the game of basketball into a proper perspective.
They read: “Shoot for the Cure: It’s more than just a game.”
TEAMS: Transylvania (14-2, 8-1 HCAC) at Rose-Hulman (7-9, 5-4 HCAC), 1 p.m., Hulbert Arena.
LAST TIME OUT: Rose-Hulman dropped a tight contest to Hanover College, 80-77, Wednesday at home. Four players reached double figures for the Engineers, led by 16 points each from senior Kelsey Ploof and junior Sheree Williams. Transylvania sustained its first loss in 13 games Wednesday, as the Pioneers lost for the first time in conference play in a 91-83 loss to visiting Franklin.
TEAM LEADERS: Ploof enters the game averaging a team-best 9.4 points and 7.0 rebounds for RHIT, as she leads the HCAC in shooting percentage (57.7 percent). Transylvania junior Nicole Coffman, the defending HCAC Most Valuable Player, leads the Pioneers with a league-best 20.1 points per game.
SERIES HISTORY: Transylvania picked up the first game between the two teams this season, winning 85-42 in Lexington Dec. 7. Rose-Hulman did pick up an upset victory in Lexington last season, beating the Pioneers, 59-58, during the 2012-13 campaign. The Pioneers lead the all-time series, 13-5.
LIVE STATS/VIDEO: Live stats and video will be available for the contest at http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/rhit.portal#. Admission for Saturday’s contest is $5. Rose-Hulman students, faculty and staff with identification and children 5 and under are free.