WHIPPANY, N.J., March 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Bayer Corporation is partnering with the National Hockey League's New Jersey Devils for "Bayer Fights Cancer Night" at two Devils' home games this season.
"Bayer Fights Cancer" games are intended to remind hockey fans about the importance of cancer research, screenings and awareness. The next "Bayer Fights Cancer Night" is this Sunday, March 8, when the Devils compete against the Philadelphia Flyers. Thomas Caruso, a 15-year-old cancer survivor from Paramus, N.J., will be recognized. An avid hockey fan, Thomas is looking forward to cheering on the home team.
The first "Bayer Fights Cancer Night" was held Feb. 6 against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Cancer survivor Jovannie Lorenzo, 34, of Teaneck, N.J., was recognized during the game.
For each ticket purchased by Bayer employees, Bayer and the Devils are making donations to two of Bayer's partners, CancerCare and Fight Colorectal Cancer.
"We are extremely proud of this new initiative," said Raymond F. Kerins, Jr., senior vice president and head of Communications, Government Relations and Policy for Bayer Corporation. "The more we can educate the public about cancer, the greater our chances of encouraging people to get screened. We at Bayer are inspired by the stories of Jovannie and Thomas, and through our partnerships with CancerCare and Fight Colorectal Cancer, we are helping provide assistance for those with cancer and their families."
When he was 13, Thomas Caruso began complaining of leg pain after riding his bike to school. His parents, Tom and Jill, took him for a routine exam and were shocked to learn that Thomas had osteosarcoma, a type of cancer that develops in the bones.
"We never expected the doctor to tell us that the pain was caused by a tumor that stretched from his knee to his hip. We also couldn't believe that it would have spread to his lungs," Jill said.
Thomas quickly underwent six surgeries that involved having his leg rebuilt and a large portion of his right lung removed. He tackled every procedure with a can-do attitude and often told his parents, "Don't worry, Mom and Dad, I've got this."
His parents took turns accompanying Thomas to Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City from their home in Bergen County. While one parent met with Thomas' health care team, the other stayed behind to care for their younger children, Nicole and Michael.
The family worked together to maintain a sense of normalcy in their lives throughout treatment. They turned to CancerCare, an organization providing free, professional support services including counseling, support groups, educational workshops, publications and financial assistance to anyone affected by cancer.
Since cancer can be a difficult topic to discuss for many families, CancerCare, with a sponsorship from Bayer, recently developed a free at-home activity kit, called the Pillow Talk Care Package.
The package includes a hands-on decorating project, as well as materials that can help make difficult cancer conversations more comfortable. Families who have been impacted by cancer can order a free Pillow Talk Care Package by visiting www.cancercare.org.
Today, Thomas is cancer free and credits the support of his family for carrying him through such a challenging time. He enjoys finding ways to help others. Although he is unable to play lacrosse and hockey as in the past, he finds ways to still be involved, including managing his school's lacrosse team.
Having first-hand knowledge of life with cancer, Thomas' career goal is to become a psychologist and work with children who have cancer.
About Bayer Corporation
Bayer Corporation is a subsidiary of Bayer AG, a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. As an inventor company, Bayer sets trends in research-intensive areas. Bayer products and services are designed to benefit people and improve the quality of life. At the same time, Bayer aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and acts as a socially and ethically responsible corporate citizen. In fiscal 2014, Bayer employed 118,888 people at year-end and had sales of €42.2 billion. In North America, Bayer had 2014 net sales of €10,248 million ($13,630 million) and employed 16,317 at year-end. For more information, go to www.bayer.us.
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SOURCE Bayer Corporation