by Pete Davignon
reprinted with permission from Senior Softball News
CAN-Sirs: It Is Much More Than Just a Game
Summer 2012 Edition
Nothing is more stressful and scary than the moment someone is told by their doctor that they or a spouse or family member has cancer. It's a time when your whole world starts to spin and you look for some answers and direction.
We've all heard and read about cancer and while much of it is good, most of it is at best informational and somewhat impersonal.
Many of us who have experienced that moment have been fortunate enough to find or e referred to someone who has already been through their ordeal, has survived, and an discuss with their fellow senior ballplayer, what lies ahead.
We want others to have the opportunity to approach us one-on-one and to be able to find some hope for their own outcomes. Men do not like to talk about cancer. The feelings of insecurity, uncertainty about the future, concern about how the family is affected the cost of care, and not surviving the cancer, as stressful and depressing.
We want them to know that talking about cancer is therapeutic, and getting their feelings out will make them less depressed. CAN-Sirs' mission is to provide that personal, one-on-one contact by our presence at tournaments.
The CAN-Sirs survivors team works to remind senior players of the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, getting regular medical checkups, and having timely testing for cancer, is the best prevention.
CAN-Sirs teams include survivors, players with cancer in their family, and supporters of our cause, in that order. Our goal is not to win championships or even beat other teams. We enter tournaments so other senior players have access to our experiences with cancer, and to show that they can come back to play.
We do not always have enough players within the age bracket, since many cancer survivors are already playing with other teams in the tournament, so we may use several younger cancer survivors. We play only as an exhibition team. The CAN-Sirs pay full entry fees, unless otherwise arranged, ad we adhere to all the rules of the tournament.
This year the CAN-Sirs played in the Eastern Nationals in Raleigh, N.C. We planned on getting local players and to establish the CAN-Sirs in the East Coast. We emailed managers of teams entered in the tournament to find players from leagues that might be available. One player forwarded our email to 200 of his contacts. As of three days before the event we had four responses. We did our usual when we got there, and recruited help from players during their game breaks. In all, more than 20 players joined us for a game.
The support for our cause was overwhelming. Managers and players offered to work with the CAN-Sirs in their states, and the North Carolina players assured us that we will have no trouble fielding two teams next year.
We may not have explained our mission clearly, but we hope that with the understanding of all senior players, our participation in tournaments is to bring the message of hope and that awareness is the best prevention.
Please pass on this information about CAN-Sirs. You can help get our message to the over 1.5 million senior softball players. We welcome any and all senior players to join us in tournament play. We would like to expand our presence to the 50, 55, and 60 brackets. Anyone interested in managing a CAN-Sirs team can get details by emailing email@example.com.