Student-athlete sets up fundraiser for childhood cancer, honors nephew
By Rachel Levy, Sports Editor
Sophomore business administration major, Luke Nussman, set up a fundraising team in 2011 in Kingsport, Tenn. to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, an organization that collects money to treat and research childhood cancer, to honor his nephew, Brady, who was diagnosed with cancer at two and died when he was four.
Nussman said he has had a “passion” since the death of his nephew to help others find a cure for cancer. The service effort is dubbed, “Brady’s Bunch,” and boasts the slogan “Be a Brady,” in hopes of reminding people to live everyday as Brady did.
Nussman said he will do whatever it takes to help put a smile on the face of the children in St. Jude. He holds multiple fundraisers each year, including selling bracelets with “Brady’s Bunch” printed on them, giving toys to the children every year on Christmas and Brady’s birthday, and hosting a “Green Out Day,” at his high school, on which everyone in the school wears green in honor of Brady. Doing all this service, Nussman says, “puts your own life in perspective.”
Nussman remembers his nephew through service and on the baseball diamond. He wears the number four, because that was the age of his nephew when he passed away. He also writes Brady’s initials on his wrist before games, and looks at his bat, then the sky, when at bat, in remembrance.
Shenandoah University stresses the importance of community service with many projects and service days throughout the year, but the athletics department takes this notion a step further, by requiring each team to complete three community service projects each year. At the end of the year, the team with the biggest service projects and most community service hours earns a “Buzzy” award, the Shenandoah version of the ESPYs.
It is important to give back to the community and find an organization you are passionate about, according to Nussman.
“You can’t take today for granted,” he said. “It feels good to give back.”