Sep 302010
Authors: Sean Bucher

When Marc Lubick was diagnosed with a rare cancer in 2006, his family immediately sprung into action.

Lubick’s battle with Rhabdomyosarcoma, which infects the connective tissue of low-skeletal muscles in the neck and head, inspired his sister, Michelle Boyle to start RamStrong.

As the organization evolved, Boyle decided to create a more recognizable name for now the 4-year-old foundation, and RamStrength was born. It offers orthern Colorado cancer patients support for bills, groceries and medical expenses.

“We wanted to do something positive to combat this ugly disease,” Boyle said. Boyle and Lubick are the children of CSU’s former football coach Sonny Lubick.

RamStrength will host a tailgate at Saturday’s CSU vs. TCU game to raise money for students who are battling cancer or have family members fighting the disease.

This year, the organization will offer two, $2,500 scholarships to students at CSU who have had cancer, are fighting it or have a family member with the disease.

Terri Johnson, events and fundraising coordinator for RamStrength, said exclusive merchandise will be sold on the south side of the stadium and all proceeds will benefit the cause.

RamStrength plans to honor Anthony Cesario, an all-American guard and CSU alumnus, who recently passed away.

“Anthony was a big part of what we were doing with RamStrength,” said Boyle, who believes that without individuals like Cesario, RamStrength would not continue to grow.

“Seeing the impact it has on the cancer patients, I’ve seen a lot,” said Ashley Luebbert, a RamStrength intern and CSU student. “Whether it’s paying rent or rides to and from places, it makes you feel like you’re making difference.”

Luebbert’s mother had cancer and said that without organizations like RamStrength, her mother may not have survived.

“Not many students know what we do,” said Luebbert, who believes this weekend will spur more students and Fort Collins community members to get involved.

Tim Rickett, a CSU alumnus, former strength coach and a current Fort Collins Club personal trainer, is also a big supporter and member of RamStrength.

“If you could define hometown hero, he’s our guy,” Boyle said.

Rickett was diagnosed with the most severe form of pancreatic cancer in 2002 and doctors gave him a small window of time to live. Although Rickett still receives Chemotherapy regularly, he stays fit and actively competes in lifting competitions.

“Every couple months, Michelle reads out thank you cards,” Rickett said. “It’s a rewarding experience to hear the thank yous from people we’ve helped.”

The organization works with other non-profits like The Ronald McDonald House to fund projects like Sky High Hope Camp, a week-long summer camp for children with cancer and siblings of cancer patients.

More than 60 children and their families from Sky High Hope will be in attendance, along with the game-time announcements that will feature the camp and RamStrength’s involvement across the Northern Colorado community.

“Statistics show that one in three will be diagnosed in our lifetime,” said Boyle, who hopes to see RamStrength grow across Northern Colorado.

“We all know someone who’s been affected by it in one way or another.”

Staff writer Sean Bucher can be reached at

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