VIEW PHOTO GALLERY: The Ballin' for the Cure CancerCare Basketball Tournament organizers Donovan Gayle and Shaneil Lawrence (pictured above left and centre with Cancer Care's Sherelle Kwan and Basketball Manitoba's Adam Wedlake), have announced that the third annual tournament has raised $5859.00 for CancerCare Manitoba which also included 2 iPads for the treatment ward.  The 14 team men's tournament which ran in late August at the University of Winnipeg was coordinated to spread awareness and collect needed funds to support cancer resource programs offered here in Manitoba.  Since beginning in 2014, the event has now raised $13,509.

100% of all team fees were donated directly to the cause with the venue being graciously donated by the University of Winnipeg and all MABO referees volunteering their time to work the games.  Basketball Manitoba was able to insure all participants for the weekend and aided with promotional and operations support.

Donovan and Shaneil would like to thank all the supporters of the event including the volunteers who helped with score keeping, collecting donations at the door along with Ian McCarton at the University of Winnipeg, Wes Crymble and Cam Moskal at MABO and Adam Wedlake and Basketball Manitoba for all their support.  The referees who donated their time to work the event included...
Tournament Champions - Winnipeg Wesmen
  • Mike Maryk
  • Mark Goldstine
  • Arden Boville
  • Mike Nazar
  • Evan Victoruk
  • Jeff Hurtig
  • Phil Sam
  • Mike Myall
  • Jason Glowaski
  • Pavle Kukic
  • Dan Kinaschuk
  • Shawn Woloski
  • Dave Price
  • Craig Holowachuk
  • Larry Hayes
  • Bill Harper
  • Jonny Sontag
  • Justin Pursaga
  • Earl Roberts
  • Reid Kenyon

Huge thanks to the students at Stanley Knowles School who volunteered their time as scorekeepers and other helpers - Kiannah, Jenna, Shayna, allyza, Shen, Arra, Michael, Anurit, and Halle.

Donovan commented...
  • "I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of the players who participated and gave up their weekend to make the 3rd annual “Balling for the Cure” Cancer Awareness basketball event a great success.  I could not have done this without all of your support and commitment to this cause which I hold very close to my heart, and for that I am truly grateful.  Your participation and involvement in this event has contributed to the cure and prevention of cancer, as well as improving the outcomes and quality of life for Manitobans with Leukemia.  Next year “Balling for the Cure” will be back and I look forward to hopefully seeing you all back on the court with me!"
Event organizers Shaneil and Donovan
Basketball Manitoba would like to thank Donovan and Shaneil for all their time and dedication to this project!

The game results from the weekend have been updated below.


You can still donate to the cause by following the instructions at the bottom of the page.

Plans are already under way for next year's event which is expected to open up to even more teams. Basketball Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg and MABO would like to offer our most sincere thanks to Donovan and all his efforts to get this event off the ground!




Basketball Manitoba's Adam Wedlake (left) along with Donovan Gayle
(right) present the $4650 to CancerCare Manitoba in 2015

Basketball Manitoba's Adam Wedlake (left) along with
Donovan Gayle (right) present the $3000 to CancerCare Manitoba in 2014
Donovan's Story

Donovan Gayle’s life took a turn on June 9, 2013, that the former BU Bobcats player and assistant coach never expected.  Gayle, who was born in Jamaica and moved to Canada at the age of 16, found some blood in his saliva as he was finishing up playing a pick-up game of basketball. After going to a walk-in clinic the next day, the doctor said that it wasn't a chest infection, and that he should go to the emergency room to have some tests run. The tests resulted in Donovan being diagnosed with leukemia.

When the doctor told him the news, Gayle says that he couldn't believe it. “I was like, ‘How is that possible? I’m a 32-year-old guy, very active, I don’t smoke, I don’t drink.”

After another blood test in Winnipeg came back with the same result – acute leukemia, which requires aggressive treatment – Donovan stayed in the hospital for a month in order to start chemotherapy treatment immediately.  After leaving the hospital, another test was performed. It found that the cancer was not in remission, and he had to continue treatment at an out-patient clinic. Future rounds of treatment went much better, with little to no negative symptoms, allowing more treatments to be done in relatively rapid succession.

He was also told that he would require a bone marrow transplant. The first person they tested for a match was his sister. Fortunately, she was a match, saving Donovan from having to rely on the national blood bank. “Thank god for that,” he praises.



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