Competitive Spirits and Compassionate Hearts
Raymond Asher ’82 is a life-long student of the game. He has always loved sports and applied the lessons found in athletics to his own life. Asher carried the spirit of competition as a fan, player and even a coach; eventually using what he learned to start a different kind of team, one that fights for pediatric cancer research.
Asher and his wife began working with the Little Heroes Foundation (formerly known as Friends for Steven) after their family experienced the battle against cancer first-hand when their son was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. As active members of this nonprofit research foundation they raised funds to help in a strategic way. Asher explained, “Pediatric cancer tends to lag behind. Men are able to advocate for themselves for prostate cancer and women have done tremendous things for breast cancer, but kids can’t raise money themselves. They need adults to help them.”
Being an advocate for cancer research became his passion, and it wasn’t long before he made the connection to his love of sports. The Little Heroes Foundation received immense support from the Chicago Wolves hockey team. “They are an incredibly generous organization and they have done a lot for us,” said Asher.
After years of service to this cause, both Asher and his wife decided to slow things down and take a more passive role at the foundation. They knew others would continue their work and build upon the success of Little Heroes, and they didn’t have to look far. Bradley’s own Coach Elvis Dominguez was weaving together competition and compassion as a Baseball Vs. Cancer Ambassador.
Asher explained how the two were able to meet in person: “I have gone to baseball spring training games in Florida for years, and the World Baseball Classic happened to be while I was there this year. I also saw that Bradley was going to be playing nearby so I contacted Coach Dominguez. I wanted to meet him, not just because I’m a Bradley fan and wanted to support the team, but because I read about how he and his team were active in supporting pediatric cancer research.”
Anyone who is dedicated to helping those with cancer is not just a teammate, but an all-star to Asher. “I wanted to show my appreciation and thank Coach Dominguez because the work he did was for something near and dear to my heart.”
The mission of Little Heroes became personal for Asher when he wanted to share the gratitude he had for his son’s triumph over neuroblastoma. He continues to give thanks for his family’s health by acknowledging those who are major players in the battle against pediatric cancer, like Bradley Braves Head Baseball Coach Dominguez.
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