St. Raymond’s High School held it’s second annual St. Raymond’s Alumni and Friends Basketball Tournament to raise money for people suffering from cancer.
The tournament was a two-day tournament – July 23 and 24 – complete with referees, refreshments and music. The cost per team to join the tournament was $300 and it was $5 to watch.
Proceeds from the tournament amounted to approximately $3,000.
A portion of the proceeds went to 15-year old Cristian Tobar, a St. Raymond student, who is suffering from leukemia. The rest of the proceeds went to the Changing Youth Basketball Program and the No Battle Should Be Fought Alone Chartiy.
“I felt honored,” said Tobar.
Tobar was diagnosed with leukemia, a blood cancer, on July 22, 2014. Since then the cancer has left and returned three times.
Tobar said having cancer has taught him to “just enjoy the present moment because at any time you could have been here one moment and gone the next.”
He adds that he’s also learned to “keep a positive mentality” and the importance of staying close with his family.
Tobar, who was born in Guatemala and came to Bronx when he was one-years-old, said has had to be strong for his parents at times.
“It was hard for me when I saw my parents upset,” he said. He added he had to ‘man up’ and be positive for them.
The St. Raymond’s tournament began last year and was dedicated to supporting Bronx resident Tristan Dillon.
Dillon said his two best friends, Steven Pierre Saint and Daryl De Guire, originally started the tournament to earn some extra cash.
However, they changed their minds once they learned of his diagnosis.
Dillon was diagnosed with stage-4 colon cancer on May 5, 2015.
He said at first he was extremely sad and kept to himself.
One day he walked around he walked around the hospital and realized there were many cancer patients who were alone.
Dillon said this experience encouraged him to start his charity No Battle Should be Fought Alone which helps encourage those battling cancer.
“Cancer definitely gave me clearer view of life,a different understanding of life and an admiration of life,” said Dillon.
Dillon met Tobar through the charity and said he was impressed with Tobar’s selflessness.
He appreciated how Tobar asked not only for something for himself but also something for his parents.
Tobar said choosing something was a “tough decision.”
However, he settled on a locket that held two pictures of his family for his mother. For his father he got a chain on the end of which were praying hands.
Tobar said he wanted to get something they could “remember the experience.” He also got a high-powered laptop for himself.
Tobar provided some advice for people who may also being fighting cancer.
“Support from family is important and I can’t express it enough,” he said.