Despite falling in TBT Championship Game, Sideline Cancer sticking to 'I Can' mentality

 

By: Savannah Deuer | @sav_deuer38


Sideline Cancer continues to fight for a cure

Since advancing to the TBT Championship in July, Sideline Cancer has never had a bigger platform.

Many know the name from their deep run in TBT this past summer, or from their tournament appearances since 2014, as the team is the last remaining original TBT franchise. But Sideline Cancer is so much more than just basketball. 

Sideline Cancer is a major arm of the Greg and Cathy Griffith Family Foundation, which is focused on advocacy, research, and raising funds to beat pancreatic cancer. When TBT began in 2014, Sideline Cancer was born as a way to raise awareness about pancreatic cancer - and carry on Greg Griffith’s legacy - after he tragically passed away from the disease at age 50 in 2012.  

“TBT has given us so much," said Cathy Griffith, the president of the foundation and widow to Greg. "Whether it be exposure on television, social media, or through donation." 

 

After advancing to the TBT Championship Game in 2020, Sideline Cancer has been finding ways to persevere and pivot during the pandemic to keep the momentum rolling. Instead of having Sideline Cancer nights at local high schools in Pennsylvania for basketball and football games, Sideline Cancer has been selling t-shirts online. Rather than hosting their annual dinner, they adapted to the current circumstances and held an even larger outdoor golf tournament. 

“We’ve been able to find ways to let people know our mission," said Sideline Cancer GM Billy Clapper. “We can use this exposure for more funding and research, to show a cure can be found.”

While TBT has provided Sideline Cancer worldwide exposure, it has also provided outstanding opportunities to raise crucial donations. Even though the team did not win the TBT Championship Game, Sideline Cancer raised over $40,000 from Golden Eagles players and TBT fans who were inspired by their run and the cause. 

 

As a result of their run in TBT, Sideline Cancer has been featured on ESPN, Forbes, and the USA Today, further extending the reach of the organization. T-shirt sales have come as far away as Greece and Australia, with many people reaching out from around the country wanting to know how they can help. 

Hope has been at the center of Sideline Cancer since Greg’s death, and Cathy Griffith still maintains that positivity today. 

 

“While the pandemic has made some things more difficult, we’ve been able to stick with one motto: look at things from the heart," said Griffith. “Everything has been done with heart and hope, even during this pandemic.” 

“We believe we can sideline cancer. It’s all a mission of love, hope, and finding a cure.”