GENEVAâ€“More than 2,000 survivors and families attended the Kane County Cougarsâ€™ Cancer Survivors Day, presented by Cancer Treatment Centers of America, on Sunday afternoon. As part of Sundayâ€™s 7-1 Cougars win over the Peoria Chiefs, survivors as well as family members and friends enjoyed a day at Elfstrom Stadium to commemorate all those who have courageously fought all types of cancer.
Fittingly enough, early morning rain showers led to clear skies before yesterdayâ€™s game as countless fans entered the stadium gates wearing purpleâ€”the universal color of all types of cancer. Various cancer treatment, prevention and counseling groups were present at the ballpark before the first pitch to take part in a pre-game victory lap parade around the field, led by Ozzie T. Cougar.
As game time approached, Cougars players and staff stepped onto the field for a pre-game autograph session wearing special purple jerseys to pay tribute to those in attendance, and fans responded with a standing ovation to signify the poignant moment.
Shortly after, the Cougars welcomed Dr. Edgar Staren, Chief Medical Officer from CTCA and cancer survivor himself, as well as David Blain on the field to each throw a ceremonial first pitch. Blain, representing all cancer survivors, was diagnosed with prostate cancer on his birthday in 2006.The purple-clad Cougars certainly got a boost from wearing the new jerseys as the team stormed out to a 4-0 lead in the third inning before settling for the 7-1 victory. Cancer survivors and their families were then invited down onto the field immediately following the game to run the bases and put the finishing touches on the afternoon.
The Cougars have also planned a Breast Cancer Awareness Day for the August 30 game, as well as a Prostate Cancer Awareness Day on Fathers Day, June 21.