October is a sea of pink as awareness for breast cancer is promoted throughout the month. While schools and sports teams rally for the cause, breast cancer hit close to home in Avon last year after current senior football player, Michael Sustar’s mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Mary Jo Sustar, 50, was diagnosed Nov. 9, 2015 at the age of 49 after undergoing a yearly mammogram. The diagnosis was Stage one estrogen and HER2 positive. Since then, Mary Jo has undergone chemo, radiation, and is still undergoing treatment of Herceptin. Breast cancer runs in the family as three aunts on her dad’s side and four first cousins on dad’s side were diagnosed.
In addition to Michael, the Sustar’s have two other children: Jason, 24, Avon graduate lives in Washington DC, and works as a computer engineer for Capital One; and daughter Madison, 20, is a junior at Kent State, studying fashion merchandising and media.
The Sustar Family have been huge supporters of the Avon Local Schools and the athletic programs.
Mary Jo is currently working to raise awareness for breast cancer and through her efforts, and the efforts of many in the school district, a host of events are planned this month.
The Oct. 21 home football game is a “Pink Out.” Fans are encouraged to wear pink. The students will wear pink in the student sections. The Athletic Department is currently selling pink T-shirts, with proceeds benefiting the Karen P. Nakon Foundation.
Karen Nakon was an Avon resident. She passed away from breast cancer on Feb. 22, 2003, her 38th birthday. Her children graduated from Avon High School. A foundation was created in her honor/memory to help those dealing with breast cancer, www.nakonfoundation.org.
The Avon High School football team will wear special jerseys with pink numbers. The cheerleaders and band members will also wear pink items.
Donations will also be collected at the football game for the Karen P. Nakon Foundation with donors receiving pink ribbons.
Schools throughout the district have also designated various days for students to wear pink to show support.
Prior to the football game, during the team’s weekly meal Oct. 19, which will be supplied by the Sustar Family, a guest speaker from the Nakon Foundation will talk to the football players about why they are wearing pink and how breast cancer affects Avon families.