Suits and Sneakers were the dress code in the Capitol as Illinois lawmakers, coaches and other supporters gathered at the capitol for
cancer awareness and encourage people to enroll in the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS 3).

Ben Wierzba, head men’s basketball coach at the University of Illinois Springfield, said he wore sneakers in honor of a friend. “A family friend, who was my mom’s best friend and a second mom to me, she beat cancer once. She beat it twice. And then on January 7, this year, she passed away with cancer,” Wierzba said. “She traveled around with my parents to watch me play basketball. She’s traveled around to watch me coach and I miss her very dearly.”

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 State Rep. Rich Brauer (R- Petersburg) wore sneakers to support his brother-in-law, who is going through chemotherapy. “What is important is that thing is a fight,” Brauer said. “It’s important that we keep fighting. What’s more important is that we have each and everyone of you to be part of that fight. Call your legislators, hold their tennis shoes to the fire and make them participate.”

 Along with bringing awareness to CPS 3, Ann Wheet, a volunteer for the American Cancer Society, says lawmakers are also being approached about supporting legislation. “We’re here to talk to them about the Illinois breast and cervical cancer program, to make sure that they keep the funding,” Wheet said. “Right now Gov. Quinn proposed $3.5 million coming out of that and there are so many women that need that program to get their pre-screening and treatment.”

(Copyright WBGZ Radio/