BRENTWOOD, Tenn. — Titans cornerback
Sensabaugh helped organize the “Choose to Cure Cancer” fundraising event that featured the launch of the pre-fall collection of fashionable shoes and handbags. Representatives from Jimmy Choo from in and out of Nashville created a style gallery in the home of Rick and Amy Olszewski, with portions of proceeds going to Chasity’s campaign for 2014 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Woman of the Year.
Sensabaugh finished as First Runner-up in the 2013 Man of the Year Campaign and has continued his efforts to honor his late brother, Jamaar, who passed away at 16, one week after he was diagnosed with leukemia. Coty was 11 at the time and wanted to one day have an opportunity to help others.
“This has been great, not only for everyone involved, but for Chasity’s campaign because it’s a way to raise awareness and raise money for a great cause,” Sensabaugh said. “It’s just a lot of great people with good hearts coming out and supporting a great cause. This is very special, because whether we know it or not, we’ve all been touched or will be touched by this disease at some point or another until we find a cure. That’s what this is all about for me, trying to find a cure and to help others who are dealing with this disease.”
Chasity’s cousin Chris Oden, a mother of two, lost her battle with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in 2007 at age 34 after battling the disease for a year and a half. Chasity also has been motivated by fellow cheerleader Robin Roach Towe, who cheered for the Nashville Kats and mentored others before passing away from AML at age 33 more than 10 years ago.
“The campaign has been great. We have had just an immense amount of support from all directions and we’re so grateful for that,” Chasity said. “Rick and Amy have opened up their home to LLS and to support my campaign. I couldn’t be more grateful. I can call them, ask what I should do, and they have been so gracious with everything.”
Rick Olszewski, who was named 2012 LLS Man of the Year and a Champion of Hope, helped Sensabaugh’s campaign a year ago and is helping Chasity this year by hosting and advising. Chip Hoback, the 2013 LLS Man of the Year, also attended Thursday’s event.
Sensabaugh said the mentorship from the Olszewskis and their willingness to host events has been quite helpful. He presented Rick Olszewski with a game-worn jersey and a ball that was autographed by Titans players.
“The relationship between Rick O. and Amy and us is very special because since we’ve been in Nashville and involved with LLS, they’ve been mentors to us and they’ve helped us with everything we’re asking for and they went above and beyond, so we’re trying to return the favor,” Sensabaugh said. “We can’t beat Rick O and Amy, but we’re trying our best to return the favor to the ones after us because that’s how you keep it going. That’s how you keep it special. The most memorable thing about this is the people involved, the memories you make and the awareness you raise. Of course, money is a big thing, but it’s all about building relationships and memories. That’s the important thing.”
Chasity’s efforts are now shifting from food and fashion to fitness. She has scheduled four classes open to the public for $20, and 100 percent of the money from each will go to her campaign.
The classes are:
- Tae Bo, 11 a.m. on May 30 at Team Tae Bo Fitness in Franklin
- LTB, 5 p.m. on June 1 at Pure Barre in Franklin
- Insanity, 7:30 p.m. on June 5 at Nashville Mixed Martial Arts
- Ashtanga, 2 p.m. on June 8 at Hot Yoga Plus in Brentwood
The 10-week campaign (visit http://www.mwoy.org/pages/tn/nash14/cadkisson for more information) for Chasity and other candidates is scheduled to wrap on June 19, but their efforts to stop blood cancer won’t end there.
“We’re sticking around until we raise enough money and awareness to find a cure,” Sensabaugh said. “That’s what it’s all about.”