2016-08-17 / Sports

CC’s DeJong working to ‘kick’ pediatric cancer

BY DAVE WALCZYK
CONTRIBUTING WRITER


Catholic Central long-snapper Dillon DeJong. 
(Photo submitted.) Catholic Central long-snapper Dillon DeJong. (Photo submitted.) This past spring, Catholic Central’s Dillon DeJong attended the Kohl’s Kicking Camp in Chicago, Illinois to improve his skills as a long-snapper, but the senior learned about much more than football.

As a camper, DeJong did work on his long-snapping, but also learned about how he and his peers can make a difference in the lives of others. DeJong found out about an organization called Kick-It that is dedicated to helping children that have been diagnosed with cancer.

“I learned about a unique opportunity that would allow me to not only play a sport that I love, but also help an organization that is dedicated to helping children with cancer,” he said. “I thought it was cool that a 10-year-old boy (Quinn Clarke) who was battling cancer for the second time decided to raise money for cancer research by holding a kickball game. His original efforts have now led to the Kick-It Organization that have since raised over $4 million and have national sponsors, such as the Jeff Gordon Foundation, sponsoring them.”

Once DeJong returned from the camp, he and his mom, Tracy Brenner, looked into the organization more closely.

“We were shocked to read the facts about pediatric cancer and the lack of funding dedicated to research,” he said. “We talked a lot about how the number one disease killing in children is not well known in today’s world and how sad it is that the funding isn’t there.”

DeJong continued, “The website also allowed us to look at the types of things that others were doing as fundraisers. Some were kickball tournaments, but really the organization lets you design a fundraiser that fits you. Since we saw that there have been other football players/teams who have been successful in raising money during their season I decided to give it a shot.”

DeJong realized that he wanted to step up to do his part to help “kick” pediatric cancer.

“I decided that this was something that I wanted to do,” he said. “I have made it my goal to try to raise at least $5,000 during the football season for pediatric cancer research.”

To make it possible for others to donate to help “kick cancer”, DeJong made a page on the Kick-It website (www.kick-it.org/ games/2016/08/dillon-dejong-and-the-ccshamrocks defeat-cancer). The senior is currently working with Catholic Central to get the word out in the community.

“Hopefully by the first football game against Sterling Heights Stevenson (August 27 at the University of Michigan) my message will be spreading and the fundraiser will be under full swing,” he said .

DeJong is not only intending to get the word out this year about Kick-It, but is hopeful that his work will encourage others to join the fight as well this year and in future years to come.

“I think it would be great if this was a new tradition started at CC,” he said. “Maybe other teams or schools will hear about it and decide to look into it as well.”

Looking forward to the challenge of reaching his goal, DeJong said, “I am excited to see how much money can be raised to help kids that are sick from cancer. I have been so lucky to be healthy, play sports and just live my life as a kid. I can’t imagine missing out on all the things that kids should be doing because they have to spend their time in hospitals.”

If you would like to join DeJong in to help kick pediatric cancer, it is very easy to donate and it is tax deductible.

“The easiest way to donate is by going to my Kick-It page at www.kick-it.org/ games/2016/08/dillon-dejong-and-thecc shamrocks-defeat-cancer. Once on my page you will see a red box that says “donate now,” click on it and follow the prompts. When you are done it will also allow you to print out a receipt with a tax id number.”

Checks are also accepted. If you would rather write a check, be sure to include DeJong’s name (Dillon DeJong and the CC Shamrocks Defeat Cancer) in the memo, so Kick-It representatives can update the amount of money raised on his website page.

Checks can be sent to:

Kick-It
6009 Landerhaven Drive, Suite I
Mayfield Heights, OH 44124

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