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Benefit for Jeff Parker - 30-Jan-2010 
Mike Atlas
Wed Jan 06 2010, 09:17AM

Joined: Sun Feb 22 2004, 11:26AM
Posts: 6122
(continue on to the latest rankings here: [link]

Jeff Parker is a former Foxboro HS stand out wrestler and is currently coaching at Franklin. Jeff is now fighting with cancer and his college, the University of Buffalo, is holding a fund raising event for him and his family, and Dana Farber.

You will find details at the link. [link]
Facebook event: [link]

Mike Atlas
Wed Jan 06 2010, 09:23AM

Joined: Sun Feb 22 2004, 11:26AM
Posts: 6122
In August, former wrestling team captain and heavyweight wrestler Jeff Parker (2004-2008) was diagnosed with melanoma. He came through surgery and finished his radiation treatments. Unfortunately, his follow up CT scan showed that his cancer had metastasized to his lungs & liver. His current treatments consist of new experimental methods, some of which may not be covered under his health insurance plan.

As a UB captain, Jeff Parker displayed every positive quality required to beat this disease. He is prepared to do whatever must be done to beat his cancer. In a letter to the current team, Jeff stated “that everything he did while wrestling for UB has made me a better employee, coach and person. It also makes the obstacles that challenge me easier to defeat.” Furthermore he stated that he “looks at many things, such as the surgery and treatments as wrestling matches, where you have your highs and lows but at the end of each match I come out on top.”

Please come participate in the “Takedown Cancer” wrestling match between the University at Buffalo Bulls and the Ohio University Bobcats on Saturday January 30th at Alumni Arena. This event will be held in conjunction with our annual wrestling alumni and friends reunion weekend. (Schedule of events is enclosed) Our goal is to raise as much money as we can to help Jeff during this difficult time, the Dana Farber Cancer Institute (Melanoma Center)in Boston and Carly's Club part of the Roswell Park Cancer Center in Buffalo.

We are asking all Alumni and Friends of UB Wrestling to help by participating in some way in this very special event. Many of you currently support the UB Wrestling program with an annual donation.

Please come support us and Jeff Parker and show up to the duel match against Ohio on January 30th. Raffel tickets are on sale for 10 dollars. Contact any wrestler or coach on the UB wrestling team


11:00 - 1:00 pm Meet and greet the wrestling alumni & Jeff Parker and family

Ø Make a Donation and /or participate in other fund raising activities

Ø Tim Horton’s - Coffee & Doughnuts

1:00 – 3:00 pm “Takedown Cancer” MAC Wrestling Dual Meet

Ø Buffalo Bulls vs. Ohio Bobcats

Ø 50/50 raffle, Chinese Auction Give Away

Ø Grand Prize Give Away

3:00 – 5:00 pm Social for all Alumni and Current UB Wrestlers

Ø Special Chinese Auction

Ø Food & Drinks will be provided

5:30 pm - ???? Social for all Alumni at Santora’s Restaurant

Ø Private Room w/ Food & Drinks Specials

Fund Raising activities for this event will include:

Ø Sponsor total number of overall takedowns for both teams

Ø Sponsor total number of overall takedowns for a specific weight class

Ø Chinese auction

Ø 50 / 50 raffle

Ø Purchase raffle tickets for “Big Ticket” prizes

Ø Purchase a special “Takedown Cancer” t-shirt and or wristband

Please RSVP on or before Wednesday January 27, 2010 to one or both of the following people:

Mickey Moran @ 412 -951-7345 or e-mail him @ -email-

Joe Muscarella @716-829-2935 or e-mail him @ -email-
Siamese Mike
Thu Jan 07 2010, 08:00AM
Registered Member #3486
Joined: Thu Jan 26 2006, 09:31AM
Posts: 417
People don't have to go to buffalo to help jeff out, you can purchase raffle tickets by emailing Micky Moran and Joe Muscarella.
Fri Jan 08 2010, 07:16AM
Registered Member #9177
Joined: Sat Jun 13 2009, 11:05AM
Posts: 586
Siamese Mike wrote ...

People don't have to go to buffalo to help jeff out, you can purchase raffle tickets by emailing Micky Moran and Joe Muscarella.

Thanks for letting me know. I wanna help parker out any way i can, hes a big part of the wrestling community what with all he does at wadsworth, franklin, etc.

Your in my prayers coach parker!
Mike Atlas
Fri Jan 08 2010, 09:56AM

Joined: Sun Feb 22 2004, 11:26AM
Posts: 6122
Jeff emailed me to let everyone everyone know that this benefit is not only to help him but more importantly the thousands of other people affected by cancer everyday. The proceeds from the benefit will be going to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute Melanoma Center and also Carly's Club, part of the Roswell Park Cancer Center in Buffalo, NY.
Sun Jan 10 2010, 06:35PM
Registered Member #6225
Joined: Fri Jul 20 2007, 11:09AM
Posts: 3
If anyone wants to get tickets contact Jimmy Hamel at -email-.
Thanks for the support
Mike Atlas
Thu Jan 21 2010, 12:04PM

Joined: Sun Feb 22 2004, 11:26AM
Posts: 6122
“A lot of your best stuff will happen after there’s been a lot of bad things,’’ said Jeff Parker, Foxborough High graduate.


Wrestling regimen inspires in battle with melanoma

By Justin A. Rice, Globe Correspondent | January 21, 2010

Facing 30 radiation treatments after a cancerous mass was removed from his neck in the fall, Jeff Parker drew strength from his wrestling career at Foxborough High and, later, at the University of Buffalo. Especially a punishing preseason in his first season at Buffalo in which he vomited in nearly 30 straight workouts.

“I’ll puke but, guess what, I’m not going to stop,’’ Parker said. “It’s going to take a lot more than that to break me.’’

The 25-year-old Parker took that mentality into his radiation treatments last September and did not vomit once.

“I was thinking of it kind of like [wrestling] preseason,’’ said Parker, who was diagnosed shortly after July Fourth with melanoma before undergoing surgery in early August. “Thirty days and I’m done; it’s not too bad.’’

During his treatments, Parker never missed a day of work at the Kraft Group or a practice session as an assistant wrestling coach at Franklin High.

A fanatic fan of the Food Network, he even kept his weight up despite losing his sense of taste.

“I don’t want to shrink down to nothing,’’ said Parker, down to 225 pounds after wrestling at 260 in college. “I take pride in being a big guy.’’

The cancer spread after radiation and metastasized in several vital organs, and he is undergoing experimental treatment at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. With Parker’s medical bills mounting, a pair of his former college teammates, Mickey Moran and Joe Muscarella, organized a benefit in his honor.

Buffalo’s match on Jan. 30 against Ohio will double as the “Takedown Cancer’’ event. Proceeds from the match and a sports memorabilia auction will offset the cost of Parker’s treatment not covered by insurance. The surplus will be donated to Dana-Farber, along with Carly’s Club, a pediatric cancer organization in Buffalo.

In just the first three weeks of fund-raising, the drive raised about $6,000. Buffalo coach Jim Beichner thinks they can raise $20,000.

“It wouldn’t have snowballed if we didn’t have a kid of character like Jeff Parker,’’ Beichner said. “He’s extremely well liked and well respected.’’

An academic all-conference selection and SUNY Chancellor award winner, Parker won 73 matches at Buffalo. His senior year, he earned the “Ideal Bull’’ award, presented to the school’s most well-rounded athlete.

Overwhelmed by the support, Parker is uncomfortable with the attention but knows it’s for the greater good.

He’s motivated by the resiliency of the children at Dana-Farber hopping out of cars and onto crutches.

“They don’t feel sorry for themselves at all,’’ Parker said. “I don’t feel sorry for myself but I feel sorry for them. If I could help them at all, that’s what I want to do.’’

Parker also hopes to leave an impression on his wrestlers at Franklin High. He tells them how he endured plenty of lows before reaching his highest highs.

“A lot of your best stuff will happen after there’s been a lot of bad things,’’ he said. “In eighth grade, I was 6-20 and had a pretty down season. My senior year, my record was 40-0. In order to get to that 40-0, there was a lot of bad things that happened to get there.’’

Parker developed his toughness by training with Father John McLaughlin, who had built a hall of fame coaching career on the mat at Woburn High. About eight Foxborough wrestlers went to train with McLaughlin at St. Mary’s Church in Foxborough, but after one session Parker and his best friend, Mike Ragusa, were the only ones to return religiously, drilling on an unpadded commercial-grade rug in the church basement.

“When new people would come in and work with them and say, ‘Are you kidding?’ Parker would say, ‘Rug burns will make you tougher,’ ’’ McLaughlin recalled.

As a senior at Foxborough, Parker was the all-state and New England heavyweight champion, and then wrestled at Binghamton University before the program was cut.

He transferred to Buffalo before red-shirting his first season with a hip injury. When he returned to the mat, he took the starting heavyweight spot and was named cocaptain his senior season.

Two months after graduation, Parker noticed a lump on his neck that was diagnosed as melanoma a few weeks later. Soon the son of a cancer survivor was himself undergoing surgery to remove the muscle that runs from his ear down the side of his neck to his clavicle.

Despite responding well to treatment, doctors soon spotted cancer on his liver and lungs.

His father, Walter, 54, who has been free of stomach cancer for four years, has a hard time comprehending it all.

“It’s kind of shocking, two people from the same family, two different cancers,’’ Walter Parker said. “It’s really heartbreaking, as hard as this kid worked, to see this happen.

“We continue to have faith and hope and pray that he beats this like I did.’’

Father McLaughlin is also praying.

“I pray he’s healed from cancer; I pray that God remembers how great of a person he is and how giving he is and the type of person he is,’’ said McLaughlin, now based in Washington, D.C.

Parker knows his wrestling foundation has been his greatest weapon against cancer. But in his mind he has only survived preseason conditioning and still has a long season to go.

With only two sessions of his new treatment under his belt, Parker has to go back for more every three weeks with no end in sight.

“This part of my battle with cancer is going to be more [about] things I learned from wrestling,’’ Parker says. “Those [radiation treatments] were quick and I could see the end. This one is longer. I don’t know the end. I can’t see the end right now. It’s like the day-to-day grind of a regular season.’’

To learn more about the fund-raiser for Jeff Parker, go to www.ubathletics. parker-benefit.shtml.
© Copyright 2010 The New York Times Company
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