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Making a difference with Make-A-Wish

Jack Delmore leads HNU Athletics' Delly Drive Fundraiser in Oakland

Jack Delmore, HNU graduate student and athlete was faced with life-changing news on December 18, 2020–he was diagnosed with stage two non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer. The diagnosis forced Delmore to step away from the baseball field and focus instead on chemo treatments and fighting a battle against cancer.

For Esteban Contreras, HNU baseball’s head coach, a team is like a family, so finding out that one of his players was diagnosed with cancer was a huge shock. “During winter break, I was at the field with one of my assistant coaches when Jack came by and said he had some bad news,” explained Contreras. “When Jack let us know he had cancer it was a pretty big gut punch. With someone who is so young and who works so hard you just never think that something like cancer could ever happen to them.” 

When the rest of the HNU community learned of Jack’s diagnosis, the initial thought was to support him, but Delmore asked that this support go toward others who were having a difficult cancer journey. Delmore was determined to not let cancer define him. He continued to have a positive outlook on life and a positive outlook on his recovery, while striving to support others. 

After brainstorming, “Coach Esteban and I thought of the idea to raise money for Make-A-Wish and to help spread cancer awareness,” said Delmore. They connected with Make-A-Wish Foundation and partnered to assist someone else in need.

With Delmore’s family, friends, teammates, and the HNU community by his side, he knew that they could achieve their goal of granting a child’s wish. They called the campaign, The Delly Drive, in honor of Delmore with the slogan “Stronger Than Cancer, Together for Delly.”

“We partnered with Adidas who donated shirts to support our cause,” said Esteban. “We also continued to post about the Delly Drive on social media and kept the momentum going. Within three to four weeks we were able to reach our goal of $10,000, which was enough to grant a child’s wish.” 

The baseball team enjoyed the opportunity to connect with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and make a difference for those in need. As for Delmore, the endless support he received from his teammates and the HNU community has kept him in good spirits during his chemo treatments. He’s currently near the end of his cancer journey, “I finished six rounds of chemo and now I have to get a scan, where I hopefully receive a good outcome.” Jack and the rest of the baseball team will continue to collaborate with cancer organizations, such as Make-A-Wish, to help fight against cancer and to help spread cancer awareness.