On and off the lacrosse field, Towson University student, Steven Stillwell puts his heart into what he does. Outside of his school responsibilities he makes giving back in his mother’s memory a main priority.
Stillwell’s mother died of breast cancer when he was just a child. Now, with the help of his teammates, he’s raising money to find a cure for this terrible disease.
“Everyone has been affected by breast cancer in some way or form. Everyone knows someone or has been affected personally,” Stillwell told ABC2.
Even with grueling practices, games and classes, Stillwell has and continues to raise thousands for Komen Maryland.
“I was in the top five of fundraising and I was the top on the team and it was just great to see everyone support me and help me raise that money,” he said.
It’s this Towson University senior’s way of honoring his late mother.
“My mom passed away from breast cancer. She had it early in her life and had gone into remission and then it came back and it unfortunately ended her life,” said Stillwell.
Her legacy now carried on by her son and his teammates. The team also takes an active role in breast cancer awareness and fundraising year round.
“Anything we can do as a team and as individuals to bring this positive attention to something that does have a big effect on people, we’ll do our part,” Brian Hemming, Director of Operations for Towson University Lacrosse, said.
Hemming has his own story about the disease that strikes 1 in 8 women.
“My mom, when she received her original diagnosis was given 18 months and she battled for 7 years before it ended for her.”
The team also holds a yearly pink game. But there’s yet another connection to the most common cancer among women after skin cancer.
“Bobbie Madison was an old academic advisor for the team. She unfortunately passed away from breast cancer as well. So in order in order to honor her and my mom and anyone else affected by it, we put the breast cancer sticker on the back of our helmets” Stillwell said.
Further showing that these young men are no strangers to the toll the disease takes. The team’s leaders couldn't be more proud of the team’s leadership.
Head coach, Shawn Nadelen told ABC2, “Every day these guys make me proud but we want to make sure we understand that we’re part of something bigger. We’re obviously a very strong program, we believe in each other, we work hard but we can also have a greater impact than just on the lacrosse field.”
For Stillwell, it’s just how he can still feel close to the woman he calls, Mom.
“It definitely makes me feel better and, hopefully, I’m making my mom proud and I just want to do what I can to help anyone else that will be affected by it in the future.”