The Department of Kinesiology at Cal State University, Northridge has shown incredible teamwork, due to the networks of both students and faculty, to help a beloved professor.
On February 5th, Dr. Steven Loy started a movement called “KIN Moves” for a dear friend and colleague, Shane Frehlich. Dr. Frehlich was the chairman of the kinesiology department. However, in the summer of 2012, Frehlich was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia called acute myeloid leukemia (blood cancer).
Four rounds of chemotherapy led to the clearance of cancer. Unfortunately this past October, during one of his checkups, it was revealed that the cancer returned. Frehlich is currently at the City of Hope receiving more chemotherapy. He will also need to undergo a bone marrow transplant, which will be risky.
Efforts to aid Frehlich have been in place since 2012, when he was first diagnosed. “Be The Match” is a bone marrow registry that has come to the CSUN campus twice now for this cause. CSUN colleagues Drs. Doug McLaughlin and Konstantinos Vrongistinos (the current kinesiology department chairman) pushed for a bone marrow drive on campus. Hundreds of students at CSUN showed their support by taking a simple test (the swabbing of a cheek for skin cells) in the hopes of aiding Frehlich.
Before hospitals became a consistent theme in their family, Shane Frehlich and his wife Dianne started their family. In January 2012, Dianne gave birth to twin boys Max and Miles. The twins were born three months prematurely, and required hospitalization for a few months after their birth.
Before the cancer relapse, the Frehlich family welcomed another son, Jonas. He was also a premature baby, and was diagnosed with Beckwith Wiedemann Syndrome (overgrowth in childhood).
As if those were not enough medical complications for the Frehlich family, Dianne’s mother, Kathy, was diagnosed last December with Stage 2 breast cancer. She underwent a mastectomy in January, and will soon start chemotherapy.
The family is treading rough waters and is in need of assistance. The struggles that the Frehlich family are facing have been incredibly difficult yet they strive to remain positive.
Loy saw a need to help his friend. With the “KIN Moves” campaign, he asked for a $15 donation per person to contribute to the medical bills for the Frehlichs. “KIN Moves” raised more than $10,000.
“Sometimes it’s a simple gesture that can grow much larger,” Loy said. “The positive energy generated is important, the contributions are important, and the cheek swab is important. On every level, we can make positive health differences for friends and family.”
Heather Teoh, a close friend of the family, has been advocating for the Frehlichs from her home in Singapore. Teoh started a fundraiser on GoFundMe.com. The web page can be found at this link: http://www.gofundme.com/FrehlichFamily. This campaign, which has totaled $34,373 in donations (as of Feb.18), is a another great example of friendship and community.
Other individuals in the CSUN Kinesiology Department — undergraduates, graduates, and staff — came together and produced a video that can be found on YouTube.com, under the name “Frehlich Family-KIN Moves.” The video shows the relationship with the students at CSU Northridge and various academic institutions in the country, and their efforts to support this family and bring awareness to this struggle.
Jhennylyn Rivera, a board member of the campus Kinesiology Major’s Club, says, “This cause is a illustration of the power of unity. One family, one voice — ‘KIN moves!’”
In response to the “KIN Moves” campaign and video, Frehlich expressed his thanks and appreciation via email: “… I will fight any and everything that comes along. There’s no way I’m not going to see my boys grow up, and there’s no way I’m not coming back to work with such a great group of people.” – Shane Frehlich.
Personally, this story has touched my heart. I recently graduated from CSUN with a kinesiology degree. It is inspirational to see my fellow kinesiology majors come together for this cause and share this story with their friends and families.
I recently spoke on the phone with Dianne Frehlich. She shared with me words of encouragement and the fact that people remember Shane and care for him has helped him feel stronger. KIN Moves is a source of hope. If you cannot donate, words of encouragement, thoughts, and prayers are just as helpful, perhaps more.
Schafer graduated form CSUN in December 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in kinesiology.
If you would like to contribute encouraging messages and or donate to the Frehlich family, visit the website: http://www.gofundme.com/FrehlichFamily
To view the video, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHH5m1cWx9I.