Journalism Next from The Out-of-Door Academy: Family faces breast cancer by uniting school communities

Special to the HeraldNovember 12, 2012 

Many are aware of Ashtin and her sister Danni Frank's (Out-of-Door Academy Class of '10) involvement in collecting Yoplait lids to fund-raise for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure. This year, Danni Frank's sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha, at Louisiana State University has taken on the task of collecting lids to raise money. For every lid donated, 10 cents goes to Yoplait's Save Lids to Save Lives campaign to fund-raise for local cancer programs to help fight breast cancer.

In support of her sister's work, Ashtin Frank has turned to ODA to ask for Yoplait lids and has received "a couple of lids everyday" since then. Ashtin Frank says working along side her sister, Danni, has "definitely made (them) closer."

Ashtin Frank is passionate about raising breast cancer awareness and has been heavily involved helping the cause. She has participated in Relay for Life and "anything else that donates to breast cancer," such as making donations, walking, and purchasing merchandise. She takes her involvement seriously because breast cancer runs in her family. "My aunt died of breast cancer and my mom was diagnosed over the summer."

Anyone who has a personal encounter with breast cancer can relate to the fight in obtaining insurance, which Frank recounts as "annoying and long." Frank and her family "knew her [mom] had to get checked" and "it was scary" to keep waiting for insurance to come.

Despite this stress, Frank's resilient disposition has prevailed. She has emerged stronger from her personal experience with breast cancer. She is eager to get involved in raising breast cancer awareness, to share her perilous encounter, and to keep fundraising and donating. Frank states she would "absolutely volunteer" later in college and throughout her life.

Despite the hardships she has gone through, Frank has found support from the women's varsity volleyball team. Frank says, "They're awesome for the money they have shared, merchandise (T-shirts and bracelets) they have sold, and donations they have raised. I really appreciate everything they have done."

Most recently, the volleyball team displayed their support by dedicating their game versus Cardinal Mooney to Mrs. Frank, much to the family's delight.

They team also demonstrated their support for Frank by recognizing her before the game and giving her a gift. As a memorable ending to the night, the

volleyball team defeated Mooney in a close game. Frank says ODA has been "extremely supportive of (her) family" and she is grateful for their understanding.

Frank says there is more students can do to volunteer She points out that students can also get involved with the Keep a Breast foundation by purchasing "I Love Boobies!" bracelets and other merchandise (more information at: http://www.keep-a-breast.org/programs/i-love-boobies/).

Finally, students can contribute by volunteering in their local Relay for Life event, which is a walk to raise awareness, fund raise, and support local families by uniting to fight back. This spring, the Out-of-Door Academy will host Relay for Life in its own Thunder Stadium. They encourage all ODA students and families to come out and join or create a team!

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