When neuropsychologist Rebecca Timlin-Scalera was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer in September, she was stunned. While she began fighting her battle she started a blog, The Cancer Couch, to share her experiences.
Months later, The Cancer Couch has evolved into a non-for-profit foundation with the goal of helping find a cure for breast cancer.
She’s picky about who she partners with, making sure they share her vision. She was drawn to the Western New York Flash since she was a Division I soccer player at Fairfield and her husband is from Rochester.
A partnership came to fruition, the foundation’s first with a professional team, culminating in a Pink Game on August 27th at Rhinos Stadium. She was pleased to see plenty of enthusiasm from the top of the organization down. The team sent out requests for players to get involved, and got complete support.
“We all replied,” Flash forward Jessica McDonald said. “We were all on it immediately.”
Flash players will be dressed in pink from head to toe for the game, including special uniforms with The Cancer Couch’s logo on them. The jerseys will be raffled off after the game to raise money, in addition to custom soccer memorabilia baskets put together by each of the players.
At last year's Pink Game the team generated over $13,000 for cancer research, helped by the outreach the team and players have in the community.
“If we can spread the word about cancer awareness, that’s 2,000 more people from my social media that I can spread the world to,” McDonald said.
Although raising money is the ultimate goal, Timlin-Scalera also wants to get her message out – cancer research needs serious attention.
“Currently it is really woefully underfunded in the breast cancer community,” she said. “If people knew what was going on they’d do something to change it.”
The game itself should also help bring people in for the event. It will be the Flash’s first game back after the Olympic Break, and since the team is hosting the Houston Dash, it could be U.S. Olympic captain Carli Lloyd’s first appearance since Rio.