Arlington High School boys basketball coach Nick Brown applauds during the opening ceremony of last year’s Coaches vs. Cancer game. (File photo)

Arlington High School boys basketball coach Nick Brown applauds during the opening ceremony of last year’s Coaches vs. Cancer game. (File photo)

Coach’s wife’s bout with cancer leads to benefit game

ARLINGTON – Caryn Brown was only 36 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer nine years ago.

The community supported her in a big way.

So in the nine years since then, she and her husband Nick, who coaches the Arlington High School boys basketball team, have been part of a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society – the Coaches vs. Cancer game. This year the event is Jan. 11 at 7:15 p.m. as AHS takes on Archbishop Murphy.

But the event is more than a basketball game. It includes honorary coaches who are dealing with cancer, and various activities to raise money to fight the disease.

Caryn recalled Wednesday just how supportive the community was when she was diagnosed. She said friends and family were shocked and stepped up, but, “We received help from people we barely knew as well.”

Caryn said people provided meals for them, along with gift cards for food, gas and groceries. There was even a Christmas tree decorated with ornaments. People helped with babysitting, especially with her 1-year-old.

“But most importantly our friends and family assisted us in dealing with our emotions,” she said. “All five of us were scared, and we were allowed to cry, panic, show anger, question ‘why us?’

“I cannot thank this community enough for helping us through our treatment and recovery.”

The Coaches vs. Cancer event is one way the Brown family says thanks. The event raises awareness of cancer, supports others fighting the disease, and raises funds for ACS. Each year about $3,000 is brought in.

The AHS gym is preparing to be “Pretty in Pink” that evening. Thanks to local business sponsors, pink t-shirts will be given to fans. At the end of the game, Flowers by George hands out pink carnations as a thank you for attending.

Before the game, there will be a ceremony to discuss the purpose of the event and to introduce the honorary coaches. Those coaches have been diagnosed with cancer or represent someone affected by the disease. One of the coaches is Benjamin Monti, who was only recently diagnosed.

Most of the money raised comes from baskets donated for the event from: University of Washington, Washington State University, Seahawks, Starbucks and Stampin’ Up. There also will be drawings for gift certificates to Children’s Museum, Total Wine & More, a Rain City Fitness membership, and a variety of community businesses. Raffle tickets are $1.

There will be a donation bucket, and donations from the Pop-a-shot event that happens each halftime will go to ACS. Fans shoot from the 3-point arch, and if they make it they get a pop.

There also will be a bake sale for the first Coaches vs. Cancer scholarship for a graduating AHS senior.

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