BREVARD COUNTY • VIERA, FLORIDA – The Cancer Care Centers of Brevard and Cancer Care Centers Foundation had planned a Strike Out Cancer Night at Space Coast Stadium on July 26.
In its continued efforts to provide financial support and educational resources to local patients, Cancer Care Centers of Brevard and Cancer Care Centers Foundation were teaming up with the Brevard County Manatees to host Cancer Care Centers Night at Space Coast Stadium.
The Brevard County Manatees were all set to wear “Cancer Survivor” theme jerseys during the game.
The front features a lavender ribbon — the color used to denote all types of cancer — while ribbons representing more than 15 types of cancer are included on the back.
Two four-time cancer survivors, Ed Lambie and Lorraine Kuriger, were to launch the evening by throwing ceremonial first pitches.
Then, when the Manatees take the field, they would be joined by five children who are fighting cancer. The evening was also to include a Home Run To Remember by a cancer survivor, a military salute and fireworks following the game. But the game was rained out and rescheduled for August 29.
And when that day finally arrived, once again there were rain cells all around Melbourne. But volunteers and friends of the Cancer Care Centers were hoping the rain would fall elsewhere.
The Manatees were in their Strike Out Cancer pink jerseys, and the visiting Dunedin Blue Jays were in their locker rooms waiting to start the game. Volunteers, family, friends and doctors gathered in their donated suite and nearby seats for snacks and drinks and to settle in for the action.
On the field, 13-year old Jenna Panarese was waiting to sing the National Anthem. But the game was delayed as officials watched the looming rain clouds. Then groundskeepers rushed out to cover the infield with a giant white tarp. And wait some more.
But baseball wasn’t going to happen that evening. Rain began to fall, gently at first, and then it simply poured. After a two-hour delay, the game was officially washed out, thanks to one of the most powerful and widespread rainstorms of the summer.
But the Cancer Care team all had fun anyway, and Jenna Panarese performed a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem for family and friends in their suite.
“Cancer Care Centers of Brevard’s mission is to promote the importance of early cancer detection, which gives the patient a better outcome in their fight against this dreaded disease,” said Cancer Care Centers marketing manager Marta Fiol. “Our tagline reads ‘At Cancer Care Centers, every month is cancer awareness month.’”