Arrowhead Game to Honor Cancer Warriors

By Carol Best
August 6, 2014
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MNU is one of four teams in the Heart of America Athletic Conference preparing to play football in an NFL stadium. In the NAIA’s first-ever Gridiron Challenge Oct. 11, MNU will play Missouri Valley at 3 p.m. and Benedictine College will play Baker University at 7 p.m. at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. One ticket provides fans access to both games making for a truly memorable experience.

MNU is using this unique opportunity as a way to bring attention to a devastating disease by designating this game the “Defeat All Cancer” game. Wearing wristbands and tape in the colors designated for particular forms of cancer, MNU athletes will represent friends and loved ones who have fought cancer. Wristbands will be sold at the game for anyone wanting to show their support for defeating cancer.

The idea is the brainchild of Pioneer Offensive Coordinator Bruce Pielstick whose wife of 27 years succumbed to bladder cancer just 7 months ago. Pielstick says the Defeat All Cancer game provides an opportunity to touch the lives of people that have gone through or are going through this difficult disease, in Jesus’ name.

“We want to encourage those who are in a battle with cancer,” Pielstick says. “We want to praise and honor Jesus Christ and we want to bring attention to all forms of cancer that people are fighting.”

Players will represent individual cancer patients and special recognition will be given to these “cancer warriors,” as Pielstick calls them. A prayer will also be offered on their behalf.

Pioneer athletes are enthusiastic about representing others in the game.

“I am excited about this cancer awareness game because I know some guys on the team have been affected by it in a big way,” says Justin Vargas, a senior linebacker from Palmdale, Calif.  “This game isn't being played for just a win, but for loved ones lost."

BPielstickCoach Pielstick wants to encourage those touched by cancer at the "Defeat All Cancer Game."

Pielstick says the fact that this game will be played at Arrowhead gives MNU the opportunity to bring more attention to this special recognition of cancer warriors.

“We are excited about the first-ever NAIA Gridiron Challenge,” he says. “We expect more fans than usual to attend this game and that means more people can take part in this effort to encourage and pray for people with cancer.”

For more information about the NAIA Gridiron Challenge or to purchase tickets, click here.