AUBURN, Ala. – The Bruce Pearl Family Foundation is continuing the fight against cancer as the head coach has brought his OUTLIVE initiative from Tennessee to Auburn with AUTLIVE, Auburn basketball’s fight against cancer. The best way to beat cancer is to detect it early and be able to fight it on your home court.
AUTLIVE raises the awareness of cancer prevention and detection while t-shirt sales and donations raise money to benefit cancer patients and their local hospital. So, we need each person in attendance at the Auburn-Tennessee SEC opener on Jan. 2, nationally-televised by CBS, to buy an orange AUTLIVE t-shirt benefiting the cause and wear it at the game.
T-shirts are $20 each and proceeds benefit cancer patients and treatment centers at these hospitals: Coosa Valley, East Alabama Medical Center, Russell Medical Center, Children’s of Alabama, Montgomery Cancer Center and the L5 Foundation in Knoxville, Tenn.
Pearl and his coaching staff initiated the OUTLIVE program in 2009 at Tennessee in recognition of former Vol Chris Lofton, who beat testicular cancer through early diagnosis and local treatment. He went on to play the entire 2007-08 season while battling the disease.
“Cancer has affected all of us,” said Pearl. “It hits right at home. It hits friends. It hits family. We had a situation at Tennessee where we had a player diagnosed with cancer during the season. One of the best shooters in the history of the SEC in Chris Lofton, No. 5, was diagnosed with testicular cancer after his junior season. It was actually discovered in a random drug test that was given after a NCAA Tournament game and because he had too much testosterone, it triggered it. He survived it and as we know, because cancer was detected early and if you treat it, you probably have a good chance of dying of something else. That’s what happened with Chris Lofton so as a result of Chris’ fight against cancer, we created OUTLIVE.
“Coming here to Auburn, I just didn’t want to let that program die. So, we are starting AUTLIVE, Auburn basketball’s fight against cancer. We are going to keep the money in local communities because I think that is the key. Life doesn’t stop when you’re diagnosed, but it changes. When you have to go to radiation, and you have to go to treatments, you must be able to do it at home. You have bills to pay, a family to care for. We may get diagnosed at different places all over the world to get those second opinions, but when you go back to the hospital two or three times a week for months at a time, it needs to be done locally. We are going to try to keep the revenue that we generate in the communities that we generate it from.”
You can help Pearl and these hospitals fight cancer by purchasing an AUTLIVE t-shirt or by donating to AUTLIVE. T-shirts are available at: http://www.auteamshop.com/COLLEGE_Auburn_Tigers_Mens_T-Shirts_Short_Sleeved/pricerange2/$10_to_$20/Mens_Under_Armour_Orange_Auburn_Tigers_AUtlive_Cancer_Performance_T-Shirt or at these stores: Auburn University Bookstore, J&M Bookstore, Kinnucan’s, Alumni Hall, Football Fanatics, Tiger Rags and Mayo Management.
Coach Pearl is hoping all Auburn fans make a strong statement in the fight against cancer by wearing their AUTLIVE shirts to the Jan. 2 Tennessee game, creating an “orange out” effect during the game on CBS and showing the commitment of Auburn fans toward advancing cancer treatment and research.
As a way of demonstrating his family’s commitment, Pearl is buying t-shirts for the first 1,500 students who attend the game on Jan. 2.
In its inaugural year, OUTLIVE raised more than $93,000 and helped the University of Tennessee Medical Center Cancer Institute provide more than 2,500 free cancer screenings throughout East Tennessee. OUTLIVE raised over $1 million over a four-to-five year span. An ambassador for the university, Pearl’s selfless community service work and generous stewardship make him one of the most influential public figures in the states of Alabama and Tennessee.
The Bruce Pearl Family Foundation has raised $515,180 the past two years for Children’s Harbor with the Bruce Pearl Fore the Children Golf Classic. The mission of Children’s Harbor is to help children with serious illness and their families.
“So, it’s a great project,” Pearl said. “It’s a worthy cause and together we will beat cancer. I know that during Chris’ battle with cancer, he remembered those words, ‘Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.’ He wanted to fight this fight privately. He didn’t really want his teammates to know. He certainly didn’t want the fans or the media to know, but he listened to the words that Jimmy V spoke. He fought proudly. He fought aggressively. So, let’s honor all those who have fought the fight against cancer and let’s help those that are still in battle. Together, we can make a difference.”