Men's Soccer Set for Special Day
Colonials will mark National Breast Cancer Awareness Month vs. Dayton
The pink rubber bracelet slips neatly under a goalie glove, which means Jason Re can wear it while he’s playing.
The band rarely leaves the George Washington keeper’s wrist, but he’s particularly grateful to be able to carry it on to the pitch. It’s an unseen way for the junior from New York to honor his mother Dawn, who died in February 2011 while fighting breast cancer for a third time.
“She was so full of passion in everything she did,” Re said. “That’s something I try to embody every time I step on the field. I’m playing for her because this is what she would have wanted me to do.”
On Saturday, GW men’s soccer will pay tribute to Dawn Re during its game against Dayton. The Colonials will mark National Breast Cancer Awareness Month by wearing pink warm-up shirts and collecting donations for the charity the Re family founded in her memory.
Dawn’s Ray of Hope has raised more than $50,000 over the past six years to help families affected by cancer cover their medical expenses.
“It’s obviously something that’s very close to Jason’s heart,” GW Head Coach Craig Jones said. “Anything we can do to support that and bring a little awareness to it, we’ll certainly continue to do so and try to help any way we can.”
Dawn Re showed incredible spirit in battling the disease three times. She beat it in 2006 and 2007 before being diagnosed again in the fall of 2010.
All the while, she continued to be an enthusiastic supporter of Jason and his siblings, Samantha and Matthew. In her final months, she surprised Jason by showing up at one of his high school games, mustering up the strength to watch from the sideline in a wheelchair.
“She was always my biggest fan,” Jason Re said. “Even when she was fighting her battle, she’d do everything she could to be there for me.”
Even before her own fight, Dawn Re had championed the cause, raising money for cancer charities by participating in charity bike rides and slow-pitch softball tournaments. She continued to stay as active as she could during her battle with the disease.
The Re family (pronounced Ray) created Dawn’s Ray of Hope in May 2011.
“We thought the best thing to honor her memory would be to keep her fight going and raise money in her honor the way that she would’ve done it,” Jason Re said.
The organization’s main fundraiser is an annual softball tournament in Re’s native Chappaqua, N.Y. At the event dubbed Dusk to Dawn, competitors play through the night.
Re brought the cause to GW for the first time last spring. The Colonials set up a table at Lerner Health and Wellness Center during Homecoming weekend. They set up a mini indoor soccer field in the gym and passed out the pink bracelets emblazoned with the charity name and logo.
Now, Dawn’s Ray of Hope makes its regular season debut at GW Soccer Field on the Mount Vernon Campus.
“It means the world to me,” said Re, who earned the first minutes of his GW career on Sept. 19 at North Carolina. “They definitely didn’t have to. It’s unbelievable how not just the team but GW as a whole has rallied around me and our organization. It’s really meaningful to me to know that no matter where I am there are people who are willing to help and are fighting the same fight that we are.”
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