Oct 302002
Authors: Laura Kath

Tri-delta and CSU’s baseball team, team up to help fight cancer

By Laura Kath

The Delta Delta Delta sorority and the CSU baseball team gathered for dinner on Monday night to give a gift to a cancer victim.

Nick Gaucher, 12, broke his arm on Mother’s Day while he was in the middle of swinging a bat for a baseball game. By August, three months later, the bone still had not healed correctly.

Nick Gaucher’s parents, Tammy and Paul Gaucher, took him in to the hospital in August to have his arm x-rayed.

“I was swinging a bat and my arm broke in the middle of my swing. It hurt really badly,” said Nick Gaucher.

The Gaucher’s were told that Nick had osteosarcoma, a tumor in a person’s osteoblasts, which are cells that manufacture growing bone, said the Kid’s Health for Parents Web site.

The Web site explained the symptoms by saying that the cancer may significantly weaken the bone structure of the leg or arm, leading to a broken bone, which can be the first sign of cancer. There may also be pain and swelling or an unexplained limp.

Tri-Delta and CSU’s baseball team heard about Nick Gaucher through Gina and Frank Gonzales. Gina Gonzales is the president for Tri-Delta alumni and Frank Gonzales the baseball team’s head coach.

The Gonzaleses decided to help raise support for the Gauchers because Nick is going through chemotherapy and will have surgery on his left arm in February, said Gina Gonzales.

Gina Gonzales approached Tri-Delta with the idea that the sorority could set aside some money to help a local child with cancer.

Their son, Marco Gonzales, played baseball with Nick Gaucher and the Gonzales family is friends with the Gauchers. Since Tri-Delta has many philanthropy events for cancer patients and hospitals, the sorority decided that helping the Gauchers would be a great way to give back to the local community, said Annie Miller, philanthropy chair and a junior in sports medicine and speech communication.

Tri-Delta gave $500 and a few gifts to the Gaucher family on Monday night at the dinner, said Ana Osborn a sophomore in marketing.

“This is all about Nick. He’s playing a major game and we all hope he keeps winning, like he has always done before. He is a great kid,” said Frank Gonzales.

Dallas Strankman, a senior in graphic design, a pitcher for CSU baseball, heard about the plan for the dinner and the gift at practice one day. “Our coach mentioned that Nick played baseball with his son, Marcos, and he wanted to have the baseball team at the dinner for Nick. Our coach said that Nick loves baseball and it would mean a lot to him if we were there,” he said. “It was a wonderful thing to do for the Gaucher family.”

Nick Gaucher is going to Children’s Hospital in Denver for chemotherapy, which makes it hard for him to go to school. When he is feeling well, a teacher who comes to the Gaucher residence to teach him two hours a day, said Tammy Gaucher.

“Everyone is hoping that the cancerous bone in Nick’s arm will shrink enough so that when he has surgery in February, the surgeons will not have to remove his left arm. If the tumor shrinks enough, the surgeons will only have to do a bone replacement,” said Nick’s father, Paul Gaucher, a firefighter with the Poudre Fire Authority.

“We are really grateful for the support from our friends, family, community, the baseball team, the fire station and the Tri-Delta house, ” said Tammy and Paul Gaucher. “We thank everyone for their generosity.”

Edited by Colleen Buhrer and Becky Waddingham

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