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Photo by Doug Thornhill

In the United States two diseases particularly threaten women: breast cancer and diabetes. Breast cancer is the leading cancer among women, after skin cancer. While according to the Centers for Disease Control, the incidence of and deaths from breast cancer have been decreasing steadily—if slowly—since 2006, in the last decade the number of children suffering from Type 1 diabetes has surged. In response, five Bay County high school girls' soccer teams are putting their muscles and hearts into raising funds to further research toward cures for these serious illnesses.

In addition to raising money for the American Cancer Society at two Kick for a Cure Breast Cancer Awareness games, teams from Bay City, Bangor, Essexville and Pinconning high schools will also play two Zip for a Cure games. ZTC was founded by a 15-year-old girl from Pennsylvania with Type 1 diabetes who intends to raise $100 from each Zip Code in the United States. Her eventual goal is raise $42 million for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, which has a local affiliate in Bay City. Event organizer and John Glenn H.S. coach Fran MacMillan says, "Our goal is to 'purchase' several Michigan Zip Codes with proceeds from our fundraising."

These match-ups will begin with junior varsity teams kicking off at 5 p.m. and varsity players taking the pitch at 7 p.m. The $5 admission and proceeds from the sale of t-shirts and programs, and the raffling of game balls, will be split between the school and the named charity.

SCHEDULE

May 14  Bay City Central H.S. @ John Glenn H.S.       ZIP THE CURE diabetes game

May 15  Garber H.S. @ Pinconning H.S.     ZIP THE CURE diabetes game

May 22  Bay City Central H.S. @ Garber  H.S.    KICK FOR A CURE breast cancer game

May 27  John Glenn H.S. @ Bay City Western H.S.       KICK FOR A CURE breast cancer game

As MacMillan explains, "Whatever we raise is money for a great cause, and our players will learn something about the effort." In the spring of 2009, Bay City Western H.S. and John Glenn H.S. raised nearly  $2,000 for the American Cancer Society in their first stadium match-up, prompting a return to the idea this spring. By getting student populations and local businesses involved, MacMillan hopes to match or surpass that amount at each event this year.

For more information on juvenile diabetes and the Zip for a Cure program, visit  www.zipthecure.com and www.jdrf.org and for specifics on this year's matches, Fran MacMillan at 989-280-1889.