Last updated: August 01. 2014 4:11PM - 497 Views
By - cslone@civitasmedia.com - 740-353-3101

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Chris Slone


Cancer is never fun, in any form or fashion. The fight against this deadly disease rages on, day after day, month after month, and year after year.

While there are fundraisers organized all over the country toward finding an ultimate cure, there is one charity benefit in southern Ohio that gives Scioto County residents an opportunity to have an enjoyable experience while contributing to a worthy cause.

Dr. Nathan Bennington, a long-time resident, is hosting his annual “Hat-Tricks for Hodgkins” soccer game.

Bennington originally organized the soccer game in 2012, when he began practicing medicine at Southern Ohio Medical Center. During one of his first shifts at the hospital, Dr. Bennington was called to read a chest x-ray of an old friend, Matt Romanello. During his examination of the data, Dr. Bennington found a mass in his chest.

Once a full examination was ordered and completed after the initial diagnosis, the mass turned out to be Lymphoma.

Treatment began immediately followed the diagnosis but by the end of the recovery stage, Romanello was physically ailing. In his early 30s, Romanello was forced to resign from his job because of his physical condition. And like most young adults, he didn’t qualify for disability insurance.

Bennington knew he couldn’t let his friend suffer financially as his physical health slowly improved.

“He was accruing a lot of bills and having financial struggles,” Bennington said. “So, I organized this originally to help him with his situation.”

After a year and a half of treatment, Romanello is in complete remission and is 100 percent healthy. While Romanello no longer needs the financial help, Bennington wanted to continue benefiting individuals who are suffering from Lymphoma by raising money through his annual charity soccer game.

This year, all of the proceeds raised will go to the Cincinnati chapter of the Luekemea Lymphoma Society, which is responsible for the tri-state and southern-Ohio area. All of the donations raised will support research, find better treatments and continue to help the society reach out to aligning individuals who are fighting this disease.

“The society in general will help individuals that are going through these treatments,” Bennington said. “They help them in various ways, either through education, support, resources, that type of thing. Actually, they helped him (Romanello) while he was going through his treatment as well.”

The soccer game that will be used as the platform to raise money and awareness for Lymphoma will begin on Aug. 16 at 11 a.m., at the Minford High School soccer field. Anyone interested in participating can pick up a registration form at any SOMC Life Center.

The cost is $25 to enter the event, which includes a “Hat-Tricks for Hodgkins” T-shirt, made by Five Star Screen Printing, a local business. Bennington wants all of the proceeds to go toward the objective, so he paid for the cost of the T-shirts out of his own pocket.

T-shirts are garunteed to participants that fill out their registration form by Aug. 9. However, anyone can still show up the day of the event and fill out a registration form. Extra T-shirts will be available, but the staff cannot guarantee everyone will receive one.

If anyone wants to make a donation without playing, they can make note on the registration form or donate the day of the event. All donations are tax deductible.

Depending on player participation, it might not be a single soccer game, it might be a tournament-style event with an overall winner. The rules and regulations of the event won’t be determined until the day of the event.

Chris Slone can be reached at 353-3101, ext 1930, or on Twitter @crslone.

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