Raising funds for local athlete

 Dan Potokar is a 2005 graduate of Grove City High School and wide receiver for The Ohio State University football team. He is undergoing radical treatment at Indiana University for an aggressive form of testicular cancer. Family and friends have organized two fund raisers in Grove City to help the Buckeye and his family.

He is 21 years old and plays football for The Ohio State University. He should be having the time of his life. Instead Grove City native Dan Potokar is fighting for it.

That is why friends of the family are putting together two fund raisers April 26-27.

Potokar, a 2005 Grove City High School graduate and walk-on wide receiver for OSU, was diagnosed with testicular cancer in December 2007. By the time he was diagnosed, the disease had spread to his abdomen and lungs. His initial treatment involved surgery and chemotherapy.

"At first everything looked good," said Nancy Kinman, Potokar’s grandmother. "Then it all turned around."

The type of cancer Potokar has is said to be rare, aggressive and resistant to

chemotherapy. Doctors also discovered lesions remaining on his lungs.

"This just breaks my heart," said Mary Mulvany, a family friend and fund raising organizer. "He shouldn’t be here fighting this."

Kinman said the family was shocked and frightened to know how much the cancer had progressed.

"This is a very difficult time for us," Kinman said. "We are depending on God. God will see us through."

On March 30, Potokar went to Indiana University where he is undergoing stem cell and chemotherapy treatments for several weeks. He is staying on campus with his parents Nannette Kinman and Ed Potokar. Kinman said he was admitted to the hospital on April 15. Family members say this is common for the type of treatment he is receiving.

"He is very tired and weak," she remarked. "He has no immune system whatsoever."

The stem cell procedure Potokar is going through is very involved. He will need two cycles, each lasting several weeks. Kinman said if everything goes well, he will come home for about a week then will go back for round two.

"His faith is strong and it will pull him through," said Kinman. "God doesn’t give us more than we can handle."

Kinman also said the response from the community has been tremendous. The Potokar family now has the okay from the NCAA to receive contributions.

On April 26, there will be a Bowl-A-Thon  at Grove City Lanes, 3940 Broadway, from noon-4 p.m. Participants can pledge a flat amount or give a set amount per pin knocked down.

On April 27, there will be a fund raising event at Planks in Grove City from 2-7 p.m.

"We are just trying to ease the burden for the family," said Mulvany.

All proceeds will go to an account in Potokar’s name managed by Ohio State. No other account is permitted due to NCAA rules. Mulvany said though the funds will go to OSU, all the proceeds will be distributed the family.

For additional information on the fund raisers, log onto dawgsfootball.com. If you cannot attend but would like to contribute, you may make a check payable to The Ohio State University. Send it to Amy Burgess, Ohio State Football, WHAC, 53 Irving Schottenstein Dr., Columbus, Ohio 43201. Be sure to write Dan Potokar on the memo line on the check.

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