After mom's cancer diagnosis, teen raises $8K with wiffle ball

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After his mother was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2011 at age 40, Brandon Burns, 18, started thinking about raising money – not for his mom, but for the larger war on cancer.

But the Plymouth teen wasn't excited about organizing a 5K run, which is frequently the go-to event for cancer-battle fundraisers.

"I'm just really not into running for fun," Burns told BringMeTheNews. "I don't even like base-running."

Hence this year's second annual wiffle ball tournament, which is all about how far participants can hit a plastic ball with a plastic bat – no running involved.

Burns organized the first Wiffling Vs. Cancer event last July in coordination with the Colon Cancer Coalition. Twenty-five teams participated and helped raise nearly $8,000 for screening and awareness programs.

"The majority of cases of colon cancer can be prevented if you just get in and get screened for it," he said.

Brandon says his mother Shannon Burns, who has four sons, is now cancer-free after chemotherapy treatment and four surgeries in the last three years. They had decided to tackle her disease as a family.

“We could have sat in a corner and cried, but you can’t kick cancer’s ass unless you’re up doing something about it,” Shannon told the Sun Sailor.

The cancer coalition hosts run/walk events all across the country, but this is the organization's only wiffle ball fundraiser, spokeswoman Erin Peterson said. She also said it is highly unusual that a teen would be an event organizer, but Peterson said Brandon is "an incredible kid with a huge heart who doesn't take no for an answer."

Brandon is looking to sign up more teams for this year's Wifflin Vs. Cancer event, which starts at 10 a.m. July 26 at Northwood Park in New Hope. Entry fee for teams of three to five players is $100. There's also a silent auction during the day.

More info here, or on the event Facebook page.

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