If you’ve been to an area coffee shop, checked the Facebook status updates of your friends, or belong to local groups, you have likely been asked to ‘Fight for Frank.’
The organization was set up by a group of locals to help Frank Chamberlin, who friends say was the picture of fitness and health. Chamberlin played football at Mahwah High School, and upon his 1996 graduation went on to play for Boston College, and for five years in the NFL – for the Tennessee Titans, Cincinnati Bengals and Houston Texans.
Since his football days, Chamberlin has been working for KBW, a financial services firm in Manhattan.
In January, Chamberlin, 34, suffered a seizure and collapsed at work.
He was diagnosed with anaplastic astrocytoma (Grade III Glioma), a severe form of brain cancer. Chamberlin underwent surgery that partially removed the tumor, but was left with ongoing seizures and significant speech impairment.
According to Courtney Matonti, a 1994 MHS grad and friend of the Chamberlins, the disease was a shock to everyone who knows Frank, including his wife, and high school sweetheart, Lisa, and the couple’s three young daughters.
“If you know them, you just can’t believe it,” Matonti, who helped form ‘Fight for Frank,’ said. “They are so young and Frank is handsome, funny, healthy – it’s just shocking that something so horrible would happen to them.”
Frank hasn’t given up. Friends say his condition has drastically improved, thanks to therapy sessions, and though they say treatments available in the United States are inadequate, he is receiving Immunotherapy treatments in Germany.
To help pay for the travel and treatment costs associated with the therapy, friends have formed 'Fight for Frank.'.
Through just online and social media marketing, and help from Chamberlin’s alma mater Boston College, the group has already been able to raise a significant chunk of its $200,000 goal.
“It’s because of Frank and Lisa, and the kind of people they are,” Matonti said. “Everyone just wants to help. In the past week since we’ve launched the new website, we have raised about $20,000.”
Matonti says the organization is in the midst of setting up donation dinners and other fundraising events throughout the area to support the cause. But, until then, anyone wishing to help can donate directly at fightforfrank.org.