Sept. 22, 2004
Providence, RI - Marv Levy, the former head football coach of the Buffalo Bills, will be coming to the Brown campus this weekend to join with Brown senior offensive lineman Lawrence Rubida and the Brown community in raising awareness for Ewing's Sarcoma, an aggressive bone cancer that afflicts children, adolescents and young adults.
Rubida, who missed last season following ACL surgery, was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma in May 2004. A tumor, the size of a small football, was found on Rubida's hip after he complained of discomfort at the conclusion of spring practice. He has since been involved in a long journey to beat this rare form of bone cancer, undergoing extensive chemotherapy and radiation therapies at the Stanford University Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, as recently as this week. His treatments over the past few months have produced encouraging results, but Lawrence still faces enormous challenges.
Levy and Rubida will speak at the Brown Football Association Kick-Off Dinner on Friday, September 24 at the Squantum Club in East Providence. In addition, Levy and Rubida will be involved in pre-game and halftime on-field ceremonies at Brown's September 25 game vs. Harvard at Brown Stadium.
At halftime, Bears' head coach Phil Estes will present Lawrence with the first contribution to The Lawrence Rubida Trust, through funds raised by Rubida's football teammates. The Trust was established to help support Lawrence's healthcare costs, living expenses, and rehabilitation. According to Rubida's wishes, The Trust will also support Ewing's Sarcoma research and young people afflicted with cancer. Emblematic of Rubida's spirit and courage, he is determined to use his own battle to bring increased attention to this little-known cancer.
"Football has given Lawrence the courage to fight his battle against cancer, and Brown has given Lawrence the ability to better understand the disease and not accept it at face value," said Brown head football coach Phil Estes. "I've learned to never count Lawrence out. We all look forward to his return to Brown Stadium after his complete recovery from cancer."
Levy became aware of Lawrence's situation through the efforts of Brown alumnus Richard Dresdale '78 and Riddell Sports. Dresdale, the president of Fenway Partners in New York City, developed a close personal relationship with Rubida when Lawrence worked for the Dresdale family at their summer home in Rhode Island two summers ago, and has been incredibly supportive of Lawrence during these past few months.
After leading the Buffalo Bills to four consecutive Super Bowls and six AFC East titles, Levy was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001. A two-time NFL Coach of the Year, Levy is also widely recognized as a teacher and communicator. He is Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Coe College, and earned a Masters degree in History from Harvard. Levy, a cancer survivor who had prostate cancer surgery in 1995, is an honorary board member of the Rosewell-Park Cancer Alliance.
Levy will be available to speak with the media on Friday evening at the Squantum Club, after 6:30 p.m. He is scheduled to speak at 8:30 p.m. On Saturday at Brown Stadium, Levy will be accessible to the media following his arrival at 10:30 a.m. He will participate in the pre-game coin-toss ceremony as an honorary official, joining Brown tri-captains Rubida, Anjel Gutierrez and Will Burroughs, along with the Harvard football captains and game officials. At halftime, Levy will participate in the ceremonies to honor Lawrence's courage and bring attention to the fight against Ewing's Sarcoma.