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Kicking for a Cure

BU men’s soccer to host April 26 tournament to raise awareness for cancer

April 22, 2014


Kicking for a Cure

Al Mydlinski

Red Card Cancer Website

Contact: David O’Brian (dobrian@binghamton.edu)

VESTAL, N.Y. – While it is only spring, the Binghamton men’s soccer program figures to have one of its most memorable events of 2014 when it hosts a round-robin tournament on April 26. The event, which is geared towards raising awareness of the Red Card Cancer program, will include teams from Cortland, Bloomsburg, as well as the Greater Binghamton Futbol Club (GBFC) of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL). Admission to the event is free.

The head coach of the NPSL is no stranger to the local soccer scene. Al Mydlinski was an assistant with the Binghamton program during the 1979-80 academic year. He then was the head coach at nearby Susquehanna Valley High School, where he won 309 games from 1980-2009.

This past year, however, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and spent 10 weeks at the John Hopkins Cancer Cancer. His stay was intense and left him with a lasting appreciation of the program that is run for Cancer.  While the results of his treatment will not be determined for a couple of years, he is confident that what was done gives him the best chance for success.

“If you knew all of the research they are doing there and all of the great things that go on, you realize that there are a lot of opportunities to give them more funding to allow them to go further than they already have,” he said.

Paul Payne, the head coach at Bloomsburg, founded Red Card Cancer in 2009. The goal of the program has been to raise awareness about cancer, as well as funds for research.

Binghamton head coach Paul Marco was immediately supportive of the program. He views the round robin tournament on April 26 as an excellent opportunity for the Bearcat program to get involved.

“We’ve all been affected by cancer,” he said. “We have all had family members or friends that have been diagnosed.  As a society, we have done a pretty good job with promoting the fight against breast cancer. The Think Pink campaign, which our team has been involved in, is the best example. But we haven’t done as much with prostate cancer and through this event, we want to raise awareness for Red Card Cancer.”

The round-robin tournament starts at 5 p.m. on April 26 with a match between Cortland and Bloomsburg. At 6 p.m., the Bearcats face Bloomsburg and Cortland meets GBFC. Binghamton squares off against Cortland at 7 p.m. while Bloomsburg plays GBFC. The evening concludes with an 8 p.m. match between Binghamton and GBFC.

During the evening, there will be PA announcements promoting Red Card Cancer. Fans will be made aware of the Red Card Cancer website throughout the event.

If anyone can speak to the ability of a research institute like Johns Hopkins, which Red Card Cancer funds, it is Mydlinski.  He has experienced first-hand how the research works to find cures, as he was one of the individuals who volunteered to have experimental treatments employed as well as the more traditional treatments.

“The chances of surviving cancer today are much higher than 20 years ago and especially 40 years ago, when being diagnosed with cancer was like being given a death notice,” he said. “With all of the research and techniques that have been established, your chances (for surviving) are definitely enhanced. “

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