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Fritzius lends talents, passion to fight against breast cancer

  • Cassi Fritzius
    Cassi Fritzius  This quilter, motorcycle enthusiast, cancer survivor, and health advocate raises funds to help fight breast cancer.  Photo courtesy of the W&M Law School
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Members of the William & Mary Law School community who drove through Virginia Beach last month may have passed by a recognizable face.  As part of her ongoing efforts to promote breast cancer awareness, Cassi Fritzius, executive assistant to the dean of William & Mary Law School, agreed to appear on a billboard at Northampton Blvd. and Baker Rd.

“I was very honored that they asked me to take part in the billboard campaign because there are 20 of them in 20 different locations. These are all local women in the Tidewater area who are survivors,” Fritzius said. “You know me from school. People know me from the motorcycle club. People know me from quilting, and so there is that face that someone would know or recognize.”

In addition to serving as one of these familiar faces, Fritzius – a five-year breast cancer survivor – has been involved in numerous other breast cancer fund-raising and awareness endeavors over the past eight years. One of her projects made an appearance in the Law School this month in observance of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. By raffling off one of her quilts, Fritzius hopes to draw attention to breast cancer and raise money for the local affiliated of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

“The quilt is just another way to make people aware of breast cancer and to raise some money, too, hopefully,” Fritzius explained. “Every dollar counts. We don’t have to be a $1,000 contributor; we can be a $1 contributor, and it still counts.”

Fritzius first became active in the breast cancer awareness movement through the Old Dude’s Motorcycle Club. In 2001, the group conducted its first Ride for the Cure.

“It started with 50 bikes, and we made $800,” Fritzius recalled. “As the time has gone on, we have expanded to the point where at least 225 bikes roll out with us, and we have, in the last eight years, raised more than $86,000 that we have contributed to the local affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.”

Fritzius stressed that simple steps, such as annual mammograms for women over 40 and self-exams for all women, can drastically increase breast cancer survival rates.

“When breast cancer is found early enough, statistically I think most women can look forward to five-year longevity,” Fritzius said. “As my husband always says, by doing this – raising money and being aware – it gives me another birthday every year.”