For Immediate Release: March 23, 2011
Contact: Terrence Lollie (
Phone: 607-777-2956

Binghamton athletics department in joint initiative launches 'Bearcats Buddies' program
Local non-profit 'A Room to Heal' and Colleges Against Cancer team up with BU to provide better quality of life for cancer patients

Bearcats Buddies Fact Sheet
A Room to Heal Letter

VESTAL, N.Y. -- The Binghamton University athletics department, along with local non-profit 'A Room to Heal' and Colleges Against Cancer are proud to announce a new joint initiative coined 'Bearcats Buddies.' The program is designed to improve the quality of life for children diagnosed with cancer. A ceremonial party will be held for the program's first "buddy" on Thursday, March 24 at 5:30 p.m. in the Bearcat TAU room.

The mission of 'Bearcats Buddies' is to "create a new support network for a child through an 'adoption' process during a time when the child and family are most in need." The main idea behind the program is to pair a pediatric cancer patient with one of Binghamton's 21 intercollegiate teams. BU's women's lacrosse team will be the inaugural squad, as junior midfielder Allie Sabitus, with her prior experience with the 'Friends of Jaclyn' organization, worked closely with Kim King and Linda Salomons on the founding board.

The program is being developed based on the model of an already existing organization called the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation. 'Bearcats Buddies' will mirror the national organization and use their model to launch its initiative with its main goal as providing support to all pediatric cancer patients.

'Bearcats Buddies' hopes to create a caring and compassionate atmosphere to assist and maintain recovery efforts. The children's involvement could include, "ceremonial" adoption, attendance at games and practices, supportive messages and possible visits to the children's homes or hospitals. 'Bearcats Buddies' plan to offer exciting and educational experiences for all participating in the program.

The criteria to qualify for 'Bearcats Buddies' are, children ages 5 to 14 and the child must be in current treatment, or at least two years from initial diagnosis.

Please contact Kim King, Bearcat Buddies Coordinator at (607) 777-4593 or Linda Salomons, Co-Foudnder, A Room to Heal at (607) 729-3831 for further information.

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