Courtesy of Potsdam Sports Information Department
Family. That's what comes to mind when discussing the Potsdam Athletic Department. Everyone cares for one another and wants to make a difference. Action took place as soon as it was heard that assistant athletic trainer Alex Berking was about to battle brain cancer.
Berking joined the athletic department before the 2015-16 season, and works with players on several teams, such as hockey, lacrosse and soccer, evaluating injuries and helping them recover.
After suffering from headaches and vision problems in November, Berking went to Canton-Potsdam Hospital and learned she had a large mass on the right side of her brain. When she was then transported to UVM Medical Center in Burlington, VT, the mass was determined to be a malignant brain tumor. The diagnosis came about a year after her father, Christopher Berking, died of cancer.
To reduce the risk of seizures and other complications, neurologists decided to act immediately. Surgeons successfully removed 90-percent of the mass and have prescribed chemo and radiation therapy for the next 11 months.
Just like all the Bears athletes and teams she has worked with, Berking is resilient. Potsdam has also been helping her fight in a variety of ways. All chuckApuck money raised at hockey games has been going to her as well as outside each game there is a donation box where fans can give.
"She's a great person," said Michael Pitts, head athletic trainer. "Most people, if they got news like that, would go into a shell — but not Alex."
In addition to Potsdam, the athletic training staffs across the conference are rallying their athletic departments to raise money for Berking on their campuses.
Alex also has a gofundme account created in her name to help her with her expenses as she continues her fight. The page raised over $31,000 in just under two months. You can click here to donate