“This is a picture of my mom and dad before his colonoscopy that revealed the details of my dad’s stage IV colon cancer and the details of its spreading throughout his body. One of the last pictures in which my dad looked like the man I knew for my whole life.”

by Cassie Mattia

Loveland, Ohio – Loveland is full of individuals who inspire us in one way or another. Whether it’s through simple acts of kindness, like planting beautiful flowers throughout downtown, or holding events that bring the community together for a good cause, Loveland people are always giving back. Chris Dombroski, a 2016 Loveland High School graduate, has made it his personal mission to not only give back to the Loveland community but give back to an entire community of those fighting cancer.

Dombroski has always had a passion for the city of Loveland as his hometown has provided him with some of the best memories.

“I have lived in Loveland my entire life before moving to Oxford, Ohio to start my educational career at Miami University, and always consider Loveland to be my home. I graduated from Loveland High School in 2016 and I am very proud of where I come from,” Dombroski said, “From the coaches on the field to the teachers in the classroom to the mentors I am lucky enough to have in our great community, I am very proud to be a Loveland Tiger. One of my main motivations as to why I want to be successful is to have the opportunity to give back to the great community I am from and hopefully inspire other members of our community to find their passions and never stop until they are fulfilled. I think what makes Loveland so special is the people in our community. Our community has helped mold me into the man I am today and I have been lucky enough to get to know so many amazing individuals along the way, each who have made a positive impact on my life,” Dombroski added.

Registration for The Scramble Against Cancer golf outing closes Friday April 5th. (www.heavensgamefoundation.org/events).

Growing up in Loveland, Dombroski was inspired daily by his father, John Dombroski, to “enhance the lives of others through acts of kindness and generosity.” After Dombroski’s father passed in March of 2018 from stage IV colon cancer, he came to the realization that now was his opportunity to create something that not only he could be proud of, but his dad could look down and be proud of as well. That’s when the “Heaven’s Game Foundation” was created.

The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded by ESPN and legendary basketball coach Jim Valvano with one goal in mind: to achieve Victory Over Cancer®. Since its formation in 1993, the V Foundation has awarded over $225 million in cancer research grants nationwide and has grown to become one of the premier supporters of cutting-edge cancer research. Due to generous donors, the Foundation has an endowment that covers administrative expenses.

“Following my father’s passing, I realized I had the opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of others and honor my dad’s memory, while incorporating members of the Loveland community and passionate college students,” Dombroski explained, “This combined with the national impact of our partner foundation, The V Foundation for Cancer Research, I feel like the Heaven’s Game Foundation team has two incredibly unique aspects that differentiate us from other foundations. In short, our foundation utilizes passionate college students to achieve victory over cancer by providing a national impact delivered locally.”

The “Heaven’s Game Foundation,” which is a Cincinnati-based charitable organization, is unique in that the foundation is run entirely by young adults who are dedicated to saving the lives of those battling cancer. Dombroski says that one of his foundation’s main goal is to raise money for cancer research.

“When I created this foundation I based it on the idea of creating a platform for college students to collaborate in the name of impacting the lives of others battling cancer while recognizing that one of the primary difficulties with this positioning is a lack of developed networks for college and overcoming that obstacle through our association and relationship with the V Foundation,” Dombroski said, “To me, this foundation represents hope for the future as it is run entirely by the next generation of world leaders and people who are passionate about living in a world where no one has to feel the pain of losing a loved one to cancer and we are motivated to work until that dream is a reality.”

“This is a picture of my dad and I one of the times I was home visiting him. If I wasn’t in class at Miami or at a required event here at school, I tried my best to be home and supporting my family and dad. This is also one of the last pictures taken with my father. This image represents a middle point in his battle against cancer and it is pretty evident how much of a toll it took on him when you compare how he looks in the other images.”

Since the foundation’s start, it has gained quite a bit of support as well as a dedicated following here in the Loveland community. The “Heaven’s Game Foundation” is run by a team of 11 college students that attend universities in the Midwest and a team of adult advisories from the Loveland Community.

“What is particularly special to me is the fact that some of these college students happen to be fellow Loveland alums, passionate members of our great community, and lifelong friends of mine,” Dombroski said, “Additionally, seeing as we are a student-run organization, I have also established an advisory board of adult members of the Loveland community who serve as advisors for the foundation through providing insight, assistance, and recommendations and opening their networks for the benefit of the foundation. I very much enjoy collaborating with the people and businesses in our community in an effort to keep the foundation within the community.”

Dombroski and the “Heaven’s Game Foundation” has a couple of huge focuses right now, which is their flagship event, The Scramble Against Cancer, which will be held at TPC River’s Bend at 1 p.m. on April 15th, and the establishment of a yearly scholarship for a graduating senior at Loveland High School called the “Heaven’s Game Foundation” Impact Scholarship.

“The Scramble Against Cancer golf outing on April 15th is an opportunity for members of the community to come together for a good cause at the premier golfing venue in Cincinnati. It is an opportunity for community members and businesses to support the ambitions of college students whose mission is to impact others. The profits of the outing will be donated to our partner charity, The V Foundation for Cancer Research, and will be put towards funding cancer research endeavors of National Cancer Institutes,” Dombroski explained, “The golf outing represents something my dad and I enjoyed doing together before his passing and opens the door for a light-hearted and fun day for community members to enjoy each other’s company, play golf at amazing facilities, and support a great cause. It is an opportunity to start establishing our organization as a member of our great community and to honor the life of my father and thank all of the people and businesses who chose to support our team’s ambition.”

Dombroski and his team are truly excited to see what the future holds for the “Heaven’s Game Foundation,” and couldn’t think of a better way to honor Dombroski’s father’s life.

“This is a picture of my dad, brother, and I after the operation that removed the 90% blockage and part of his colon discovered in the colonoscopy. This image marks the start of the decline in my dad’s health until his eventual passing in March 2018. My dad was in the hospital for a couple of days and ultimately confirmed how far along the cancer was and confirmed his sooner-than-expected passing that was on the horizon.”

“I am inspired by my father and the fact that I have the opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of others with a group of like-minded college students who are entirely selfless and not at all interested in the glory, recognition, etc. of this foundation but are inspired by their desire to help others,” Dombroski said.

If you would like to learn more about the Heaven’s Game Foundation or register for the Scramble Against Cancer golf outing go to www.heavensgamefoundation.org/events. You can also visit @heavensgamefoundation on Facebook, @heavens_game_foundation on Instagram, or www.jimmyv.org to see how you can get more involved.

Registration for The Scramble Against Cancer golf outing closes Friday April 5th. (www.heavensgamefoundation.org/events).

 

Columnist Cassia Mattia is a resident of Historic Downtown Loveland

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