It Takes A Team: Duke WLAX Collaborates With DCI

April 4, 2018
By: Julie Poucher Harbin, Writer, Duke Cancer Institute

(photo by Grant Halverson)The Duke University Women's Lacrosse team is dedicating their home game against Boston College on Saturday, April 7, at noon, to Duke Cancer Institute faculty and staff and cancer center patients and their families, who are invited to attend the matchup free-of-charge.

Guests are encouraged to grab a rally towel on their way into the stadium and cheer on the home team and their honorary captains: Michael Kastan, MD, PhD, executive director of Duke Cancer Institute; Rachel Greenup, MD, MPH; Melissa DellaVecchia, RN; Michole Nelson, RN, BSN; DCI IT analyst and 11-year colorectal cancer survivor Erin Wood; and Timothy McKenna, a brain cancer survivor who volunteers at Duke Cancer Center.

The honorary captains will be introduced at half-time.

Duke women’s lacrosse head coach Kerstin Kimel — herself a three-year breast cancer survivor who was treated at Duke — her team members, and their parents are encouraging fans to join them in creating greater awareness and supporting Duke Cancer Institute and its dedication to researching better treatments and ultimately cures for cancer.

"I’m happy to give back and raise awareness,” said Coach Kimel. “This is a natural fit for our team, and it’s great to see some of the alums getting behind this as well. I was fortunate to have an incredible experience at DCI. During what was a scary and uncertain time in my life, my team of doctors and staff who executed my treatment plan provided me with unparalleled support and care. I am and will forever be grateful for my experience. It is my hope that this partnership with DCI will help to support their efforts to sustain and grow their ability to not only treat cancer but to beat it as well.”

To show their support for DCI, the lady Blue Devils will be sporting special warm-up/warm-down shirts emblazoned with “It Takes A Team.” Many of their parents will also be wearing the shirts.

Duke Cancer Institute Advisory Board Member Leslie Graves, whose daughter is a team manager, said the benefit game is only the beginning of the Duke women’s lacrosse team’s efforts to support cancer awareness and DCI.

“We can all be proud of the research going on at the DCI and how it’s helping people all over the world,” said Graves. “The team is excited to get this message across. It’s particularly special because this is where their coach, who worked all through her treatment, was successfully treated for cancer.”

Free tickets for the April 7 noon game can be picked up by DCI faculty and staff, patients and their families at the Belk Boutique and the Patient Resources Center at Duke Cancer Center, beginning Wednesday, April 4. (The cost of tickets for the general public is $5 and can be purchased at Koskinen Stadium on game day). To make a gift, please visit the DCI table on game day or go to


photo on front of blog, and top circle photo courtesy of Duke Athletics. 

Topics: breast cancer