Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ber's Bowl

ACAC To Host 3rd Annual Ber's Bowl

Midlothian, VA - January 12, 2010 - ACAC Fitness & Wellness Center is asking the community to exercise for a cause all weekend leading up to the Super Bowl! ACAC will host the 3rd Annual Ber's Bowl February 5, 6 & 7. Group exercise classes will run non-stop from 4pm-7pm on Friday, 8am-6pm on Saturday and 9am-1pm on Super Bowl Sunday. For every class attended, ACAC will donate $1 for each ACAC member and $5 for each guest, all benefiting Ber ("bear") and others struggling with childhood cancer. Activities such as a family basketball shoot-out between 2-4pm on Saturday and family classes throughout the weekend will ensure each member of your family is having a blast while supporting a wonderful cause. Also on-hand, an ACAC Massage Therapist who will be offering seated massages for $1/minute with all proceeds benefiting Ber. This event is FREE and classes are open to the public.

Ber's Story

The son of ACAC Group Exercise instructor Amber van der Meer and her husband Stephen and big brother to little Elizabeth, Ber is an extremely special, loving, energetic and curious six year old boy. Ber has always been the special kind of child that brightens the lives of everyone around him and his courage is beyond description.

On the week of Ber's fourth birthday, he went to the doctor with suspected growing pains in his legs. Family and friends were devastated to learn that he was diagnosed with Stage-4 Neuroblastoma, a type of children's cancer. Ber immediately started chemotherapy at MCV. After completing chemo in Richmond, Ber then had surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering in NYC. Though not yet in remission, Ber will continue to fight this disease with our help. The outpouring of support from the community the past three years has been awe-inspiring and the hope is to pull together again to help Ber and his family with this tremendous fight as well as raise funds for others affected by this illness.

Neuroblastoma affects roughly 650 children each year in the US. The 5-year survival rate for children greater than 1 year of age who are diagnosed with Stage-4 Neuroblastoma is only 30-40 percent. Despite these dismal odds, very few funds are available for research due to the rare occurrence of this disease.

***If you live in Richmond, please stop by ACAC the weekend of Ber's bowl to help raise money for childhood cancer's (you don't have to be a member!). When I work the weekends at ACAC, Ber is often there. In fact, last week Ber and I had a sweet discussion of what he learned in school that week. Ber said he learned to always "tell the truth, be compassionate, and do things for others." I was speechless and felt the tears coming to my eyes...what big words for a six year old with cancer taking over his precious, young body. These are words we should all live by...

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