HARRISONBURG, Va., April 30, 2010 -- With her coach
and many of her teammates in attendance, JMU women's basketball player Dawn
Evans (Clarksville, Tenn./Northeast) Friday was introduced as an ambassador
for The NephCure Foundation.
As an ambassador, the Dukes' junior guard will help to raise awareness of the
kidney diseases FSGS (Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis) and Nephrotic
Evans, who was diagnosed with FSGS in December 2009, averaged a school-record
24.6 points and ranked among the national scoring leaders last season.
She was selected the Most Outstanding Player of the Colonial Athletic
Association Tournament after leading the Dukes to the CAA championship and a
berth in the NCAA Tournament.
The NephCure Foundation, a Philadelphia-based non-profit organization, serves
as a resource for families dealing with kidney diseases and funds research
seeking treatment and a cure.
At Friday's news conference NephCure Foundation development manager Nadia
Stadnycki presented Evans with a NephCure Foundation shirt in JMU purple.
Stadnycki told those attending Friday's event that FSGS affects as many as
100,000 adults. She said that The NephCure Foundation is working with the
National Institutes of Health on a $10 million initiative to launch clinical
trials with FSGS sufferers.
JMU head women's basketball Kenny Brooks said Friday that Evans "has been
an inspiration to us and has made (our team) come together as a family.
Evans acknowledged Friday that coping with FSGS "has been an emotional
roller coaster" and called the NephCure ambassador announcement " a
NephCure's other ambassadors include sports figures Alonzo Mourning and
Herschel Walker, along with Jesse Jackson, Jr.