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Published May 05, 2012, 08:22 PM

UND Men's Baseball Team Honors Local Cancer Survivors

Grand Forks, ND (WDAY TV) -- The UND Men's baseball team honored those in the community whose lives have been affected by cancer. The team partnered with the Cope Well Foundation to pay respect to survivors in Grand Forks.

By: Stacie Van Dyke, WDAZ, WDAY

The UND Men's baseball team honored those in the community whose lives have been affected by cancer. The team partnered with the Cope Well Foundation to pay respect to survivors in Grand Forks.

Kraft Field was a little more colorful today and for very good reason. UND men sported lavender tees during batting practice, and players from both teams and umpires wore lavender wristbands during the Sioux's double header against the New York Institute of Technology.

Zac Salfer - UND baseball player: "Mine is for Jeff Cook.. he was my role model and taught me everything I knew about baseball. everyone knows someone in their family or has had someone close to them affected by cancer, so it's our way of paying tribute to them and everything they've gone through and their struggles."

Ashley Johnson/Copewell founder: "As a survivor myself I understand the challenges that other survivors face. Once you know that you have cancer, it does change your life, and just being able to help people so they don't have to go through what i went through, that's what this organization is all about."

The foundation is an idea Johnson has been working on for years and it opened to the public here in grand forks just 5 months ago

Ashley: "This is just beyond my wildest dreams that it's come this far right now, just to be out there in the community and let them know how we can help them means so much to us."

Cancer survivors were recognized before the game and Johnson threw the first pitch, along with 5 year old Taylor Burge, whose father is a survivor.

Taylor Burge: "it was fun"

Zac: "It means a lot to us, as much as it probably means to other people too. it's an inspiration when you hear stories of survivors and people going through it and their family members, it gives us inspiration for what we're doing out on the field."

Tee shirts and Cope Well bracelets were sold to raise funds for the organization.

For more information on the Cope Well Foundation in Grand Forks, visit www.copewell.org

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