A former New York City hoop star/current St. Edmund Preparatory High School (2474 Ocean Avenue) basketball coach is doing her best to fight her stage four breast cancer… and the medical bills its bringing in.
Rockaway Beach native Clare Droesch was diagnosed with cancer this past November, and the disease has already spread to her hips, lymph nodes and spine. The news worsened when her limited Empire Blue medical insurance refused to cover her multiple medical procedures at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, causing the bills to pile up.
“It’s like, ‘Come on.’ Here is a good kid who’s working hard to coach, wants to play,” said Bob Mackey, the head coach for Christ the King, in the New York Post. “It’s just not fair. It never is.”
But luckily for her, she has people around her that are helping her any way they can.
A friend has arranged transportation service for her treatment sessions. The St. Edmund’s girl’s basketball team set up an event this past Friday where participants paid to wear Giants apparel; the money went to Droesch’s medical expenses. Several bake sales are being organized and money collected at the door of each game will be donated.
Dan Doelger, the head coach for the girl’s basketball team, says a portion of the money raised in the Fontbonne Hall team’s walk-a-thon will be given to Droesch.
“The way they want to give back and the things people want to do for me, the only word I can say is overwhelmed,” said Droesch. “I’m so used to giving. I always want to make someone feel better and put a smile on someone’s face. It’s pretty unbelievable the amount of support.”
In addition to coaching at St. Edmund’s, Droesch is also a New York City hoop legend in her own right. During her high school playing days at Christ the King, she lead her team to three straight state federation titles and acquired a 106-10 record in her four year career at the school. She then went onto to play D-1 ball at Boston College, where she lead the team to four straight NCAA tournaments. After Droesch graduated, she went on to play overseas in Portugal.
“I have to be strong throughout this whole process,” said Droesch. “[I want to] show my high school team and all the other kids out there how strong I am, by showing up to things and being there. If I can beat this, you can beat anything.”
Readers can help by donating money for Droesch’s treatment. Go to http://www.graybeards.com/ and click on the donations tab.