Brown Football’s “Bench Press for Cancer” Benefits The Miriam

October 16, 2017

With offensive lineman Toby Okwara providing a spot, Anya Nayak took her turn, putting up an impressive 14 repetitions at 75 pounds.

As Brown University students made their way to classes on Monday, October 16, they saw a sea of pink t-shirts on the school’s main green as members of the football team hosted their annual “Bench Press for Cancer” event. By late morning, the team had already raised more than $17,000 for the Cancer Survivorship Program for Young Adults at The Miriam Hospital, with additional donations and t-shirt sales still going strong throughout the day.

With chants of encouragement of “Get one more” and “Raise the bar, raise the hope,” players were joined by their fellow students, staff from The Miriam, and members of the community as they flexed their muscles by benching a weight of either 75 or 165 pounds for as many repetitions as possible. Prior to the event, participants secured a “per rep” pledge from friends and family, so the more repetitions they benched, the more money raised to help young adults fighting cancer.

“Bench Press for Cancer” made its first appearance at Brown in 2004, when the football team created the event to help former teammate and team captain Lawrence Rubida, who was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma while at Brown. Lawrence passed away in 2005, but the Brown football team has continued the event annually in his memory. Since the event’s inception, more than $130,000 has been raised for The Miriam Hospital.

Brendan Lynch, an offensive lineman from Milton, MA, was the day’s first participant, putting up more than 20 reps at a weight of 165 pounds.

Prior to the start of 11:00 a.m. classes, Brown students flocked to “Bench Press for Cancer” to purchase t-shirts and show their support for this year’s event.

Members of the Brown University football team pose with Dr. Fred Schiffman, medical firector, Lifespan Cancer Institute, during this year’s “Bench Press for Cancer” fundraiser.

Brett Estes, one of the primary organizers of “Bench Press for Cancer,” spots Dr. Fred Schiffman as he flexes his muscles in support of this year’s fundraiser.