Mia Smith and the Illinois Wesleyan women host Wheaton on Saturday on Paint the Shirk Pink Day. (Photo by B Corbin/WJBC, logo courtesy IWUsports)
By Eric Stock
BLOOMINGTON - Illinois Wesleyan women's basketball Mia Smith wants all women to battle breast cancer the way her team battled its way to a Division III National Championship last season.
Smith never missed a game and rarely skipped practice last season when she was undergoing treatments for breast cancer which was diagnosed in 2011.
"It was a great inspiration for me everyday to get up and get going so I could spend time with my players" Smith said.
Now cancer free, Smith wants to spread the word about self-exams and annual mammograms.
"You always wonder why you are dealt a blow in life. I felt my cancer was a little bit of a blow because typically I'm a healthy person," Smith said. "I kind of feel like this is the reason why I was given the cancer. Now I have the opportunity to get out there and spread the awareness."
Smith has been named honorary chair for the 2013 Bloomington-Normal Susan G Komen Race for the Cure on Sept. 14.
The Titans are hosting Paint and Shirk Pink for their 5 p.m. Saturday game vs. Wheaton to support the Community Cancer Center in Normal.
Pink t-shirts are for sale. There will also be a raffle and auction. Auction items include a basketball autographed by LeBron James, courtside seats for a Chicago Bulls game and various certificates donated by local businesses.
The event raised $6,000 for the Community Cancer Center in Normal last year.
You can get more information at www.iwusports.com.
Eric Stock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.