Sunday, Dec. 4, Grant United Methodist Church—spaghetti meal, silent auction, concert featuring local talent, 5K fun run/walk. Proceeds will go toward medical expenses for Lucas Arias.
By Jan Rahn
Grant High School graduate Lucas Arias has recently been diagnosed with the same cancer that afflicted former professional road racing cyclist Lance Armstrong. Most people know Armstrong as the American who won the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times after having survived testicular cancer.
In an effort to raise awareness in young people and to raise funds for 26-year-old Arias who now lives in Lincoln, a benefit meal, silent auction and concert, along with a 5K fun run/walk are scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 4.
The Grant United Methodist Church will host the meal starting at 11:30 a.m. in the fellowship hall at 5th and Warren.
The meal will consist of spaghetti, garlic bread, tossed salad, dessert bar and drinks. A free will offering will be accepted.
The silent auction will be held in conjunction with the meal with many wonderful items up for bid. The concert, beginning at approximately 1:30 p.m., will be held in the sanctuary featuring several local entertainers.
Watch for more details about the fun run/walk organized by the junior-senior youth group.
Arias, who does not have health insurance, will begin chemotherapy on Nov. 21. The active young man who took part in numerous extracurricular activities during high school and who now manages the Holiday Inn Express South in Lincoln faces a second surgery to remove lymph nodes in his abdomen. He first underwent surgery in late October for removal of one testicle.
According to statistics, this type of cancer mostly affects males between the age of 15-35. It will affect one in 271 men and there are 9,000 new cases each year in the U.S.
As a healthy, active young man growing up in Grant, Arias took part in football, track, baseball and wrestling. He served as class president, was selected to Boys State and competed in speech and scholastics. He represented the Grant United Methodist church at a youth conference and attended a Rotary leadership camp.
The dedicated Husker fan attended Southeast Community College in Lincoln. He remains physically active, playing softball and flag football and lifting weights.
The cure rate for testicular cancer is high when diagnosed early, but unfortunately, many men wait too long because they are afraid or embarrassed.
During his scheduled treatment, Arias hopes to continue working as much as possible, scheduling his three-hour-long IV chemo treatments during the afternoon, said his mother Jody Snogren, who lives in Grant.
“He has a feisty sense of humor and a very positive outlook,” she said.
An encouragement to the family is the survival of Armstrong, who established the familiar “Live Strong” organization. He had been diagnosed in 1996 with a tumor that had metastasized to his brain and lungs, yet went on to win and break records as a cyclist following extensive chemotherapy.