By Renee Larr
In 2004, at the age of 17, a senior Hamilton Southeastern football player Zack Bernas was diagnosed with Stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Disease. The cancer was aggressive and spread extensively throughout his body. Bernas received chemotherapy and was completely cancer-free within three months of his diagnosis. During his treatment, he received the support of his football team and the Fishers community.
Bernas is now looking to give that support back. He was nominated for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Man of the Year for 2015. He is competing against four other men all with the same goal in mind–to raise money for the LLS for cancer research. Bernas is hosting several fundraising events until the black tie gala on May 9 at the JW Marriott in Indianapolis.
Donations can be made by purchasing tickets to the event, bidding on the silent and live auction items and attending one of his fundraising events in Fishers. There will be a March Madness bracket challenge, a shopping day at Dottie Couture and events at local restaurants. Some of the live auction items include tickets to Disney World, a bed and breakfast weekend and a trip to Chicago.
Not only did Bernas battle the disease but so did other family members and close friends, as well. Bernas feels he owes his life to the advances in treatment due to the research of the LLS.
“He felt compelled to give back because this organization helped advance treatments up until now that helped saved his life,” said Bernas’ fiancée, Amanda Dils.
If Bernas raises $50 thousand a research grant will be named in honor of Allan Ellis, the father of a family friend who recently died from acute myeloid leukemia.
Bernas now lives in Fishers with his fiancée and son. For more information on his campaign, go to https://www.facebook.com/ZackBernasLLSMOTY.