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With support from a gym, Dulaney student hosts cancer fundraiser

The Nicoll family, from left, Jackie, Jamie and Julia, and others work out by the Outsiders Crossfit gym.
The Nicoll family, from left, Jackie, Jamie and Julia, and others work out by the Outsiders Crossfit gym. (Brian StampB.Stamp Productions")

When Julia Nicoll, a senior at Dulaney High School, decided to host a fundraiser to benefit metastatic cancer research and in honor of her dad, Jamie, she turned to the Outsiders Crossfit gym in Sparks to help pull it off.

The inaugural WOD for a Cure was held Sept. 13. WOD in Crossfit lingo means “workout of the day,” and dozens of participants came in waves throughout the day to run, jump, lift weights and do multiple burpees — squat thrusts with an additional stand between reps — in support of a good cause.

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The WOD was designed by the coaches at Outsiders Crossfit to accommodate diverse skill levels and was held outside to allow for safe practices.

When Julia was a freshman in high school, her father was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer, and throughout his treatment, the family, including mom Jackie and brother Josh, found strength and comfort while working out at Outsiders Crossfit and, in particular, with owners, Jessica and Stan White.

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Julia was extremely thankful to the Whites for making the fundraiser possible during these crazy times. Funds were raised from entrance donations and by selling T-shirts and tank tops designed by Ashely Guetler, another Dulaney graduate.

Another big money raiser was Burpee Buckets, as several of the Crossfit coaches agreed to do one burpee exercise for each dollar placed in their bucket (one coach had to do 500)! So far, around $8,000 has been raised and donations are still being made.

All the funds raised will benefit the research of Dr. Kenneth Pienta, Jamie’s oncologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital, in hopes of finding a cure for metastatic cancer.

The WOD for a Cure fundraiser builds on a club that Julia and her friend, Olivia Regine, a fellow senior, established last year at Dulaney High School. The Club for a Cure was organized to impact in a positive way those affected by cancer.

After seeing her dad fight cancer for four years, Julia had learned that a positive mindset is extremely important when battling cancer. Her intention for the club was to bring positivity to the lives of patients and their families.

Olivia is the daughter of radiation oncologist Dr. William Regine and had grown up watching his work, enabling her to learn about cancer and its effects. That inspired her to want to help make a difference and to assist people who are struggling with cancer in some way.

Together, their Club for a Cure has been able to spread cheer by making crafts to hand deliver to patients at the Maryland Proton Center. Some of the crafts were holiday cards with sweet messages inside, beaded bracelets with encouraging words on them, and Valentine hearts containing inspirational quotes.

The Club for a Cure also hosted a toy drive at Dulaney during the holidays and donated the gifts to the Proton Center for the pediatric patients to enjoy.

As Julia explained, “Hand delivering the crafts has been my favorite part of Club for a Cure so far because of the interaction with the patients and their families. I can truly tell how touched the patients always are, and it warms my heart knowing that I put a smile on a face of someone who is struggling.”

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