2016-02-25 / Front Page

Fitness fundraiser to benefit BHS senior

By Ben Meiklejohn Staff Writer

Codie Ramos Codie Ramos BIDDEFORD – A local fitness center has sponsored a fundraiser, “Friday Night Lights,” to raise money for Codie Ramos, a Biddeford High School senior and athlete who was diagnosed with lymphoma in December.

The personal trainers at Impact Fitness Center, located at Pepperell Center, organized the event in less than three weeks after talking with teachers who are members about ways to support Ramos.

Theresa Tarbox, of Saco, a friend of the family, said the family is overwhelmed by the support in the community for Ramos. A GoFundMe.com page was established that exceeded the goal of $5,000, said Tarbox. As of the Courier’s deadline, more than $5,300 had been raised to help the family pay for Ramos’s medical treatments.

“Last Friday at school, over a hundred people signed up for a $10 donation (for Friday Night Lights),” said Lisa Dube Lewis, one of the trainers.

The event will be a boot camp workout session at Tiger Gym at Biddeford High School, where people can rotate among four different fitness exercise units: kettlebell, high impact interval, strength and conditioning, and core and abdominal stations.

Tarbox, who is a member of Impact Fitness, said she was talking with trainer Todd Turgeon about a raffle she was organizing for Ramos, when Turgeon suggested the workout fundraiser.

Lewis said the community, including the school department and its teachers, came together on a short notice to organize the event. TJ’s Pizza is donating food for a postworkout meal.

Kathryn Danylik- Lagasse, and Eric Rousseau will join Lewis and Turgeon to staff the stations.

“Participants can choose to stay for all stations or participate in what they are comfortable,” Lewis said. “Our focus is to have fun while raising funds for the family.”

“It’s really good to see the community get behind them,” Tarbox.

Shannon Strickland, Ramos’s mother, said Ramos had a stress fracture in his knee, which he noticed at the end of the football season. After treating it for three weeks, Ramos then joined the track team, instead of doing basketball, and believed he re-injured himself when the pain came back after the first meet.

Strickland said that’s when the doctors decided to take an MRI, to see if another part of his leg had been fractured. That’s when they found the tumor.

“The type of cancer he has is aggressive, then they found it in his stomach as well as his knee,” Strickland said. “So they treat it pretty aggressively.”

Ramos was planning on attending Friday Night Lights, but is now in his third in-patient stay at the Boston Children’s Hospital, undergoing chemotherapy, and is not expected to return to Biddeford until March 2.

Strickland said the family values the


Friday Night Lights is happening Friday, February 26 at 6 p.m. in Tiger Gym at Biddeford High School. $10 donation per person. To sign up, or to volunteer, contact Kathryn Danylik-Lagasse at 602-6242 kathryndl@impactfc1.com. support the community has given.

“We’re not the type of people who would ever ask for help in a million years, it’s really not surprising, because we live in a good community,” Strickland said. “It left us at a loss for words how quick the community rallied and how much they were willing to help.”

Strickland said she appreciates the financial support because it has been difficult for her to work when she has been spending so much time with her son at the Boston Children’s Hospital.

Strickland said Ramos, who loves to snowboard, is disappointed that he didn’t get to use his season pass this year.

“There are a lot of other things a 17-year-old would rather be doing,” she said. “He does 5K’s, mountain climbing, he’s always, always, always busy. He’s got a lot of really, really good friends.”

Strickland said Ramos was pleased to spend time with friends recently, who came to Boston to visit him and play video games and eat pizza.

Strickland said Ramos was accepted to the University of Maine, in Orono, where he plans to study engineering in the fall.

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