Congratulations to Ashley Tapio and her Lady Fishermen Varsity Basketball team for being chosen the 2010 Individual and Team Karry Award winners this year.
The John Karry Award is the highest honor bestowed by the UMBTC. It is named for John Karry. John completed the 40 mile bike ride on a heavy, old steel bike in the cold and damp of our inaugural Hope Starts Here Challenge. Two days later he was in the operating room undergoing his third operation for a recurrent malignant brain tumor. John's courage and spirit and never quit attitude inspired us then as it does now. The Karry award is given to the individual and team/group that most inspires our patients, families and staff.
Ashley Tapio is a senior at Ilwaco Highschool in Washington state and captain of her basketball team. Her grandmother, Phyllis Kuusisto, lives in the Keweenaw. In 2009, Phyllis was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Ashley knew instantly that for her senior project she would honor her grandmother by raising funds and awareness for brain cancer research and treatment.
Her mentor for this project was Ned Bittner, Head Coach of the Lady Fishermen Varsity Basketball team. Ned was eager to help as his mother-in-law, Linda Cheuvront, was battling brain cancer also.
During the '09-10 season, Ashley and her team wore special t-shirts, and there were announcements and banners throughout their highschool. Ashley also organized a 2nd through 6th grade girl's basketball camp, Hoops for Brain Cancer.
Through her efforts and the generosity of the Ilwaco community, Ashley raised over $700.00 for the UMBTC.
We are very proud of Ashley and her team for their very extraordinary support of Phyllis, Linda and the UMBTC. And we hope that the Hoops for Brain Cancer basketball camp continues and grows for many years to come.
In the photos, you will see Ashley and her grandmother Phyllis, her team and Hoops for Brain Cancer participants and coaches.