From Stuart Kaufman, Sports Information: Surprises come in all shapes and forms. On Sunday, October 4, Keene State athletic trainer Nancy Bleam expected just a few KSC supporters to join her at the Annual Walk for Polycystic Disease (PKD) in Worcester. Instead, a busload of supporters from the College met her there. “I rounded the corner to register and was greeted by 25 Keene State athletes and student athletic trainers,” said a surprised Bleam, who was participating in her second walk after receiving a life-saving kidney transplant two years ago. “They made all the arrangements and kept it totally secret from me.”
Members of the KSC field hockey and men’s lacrosse teams and student athletic trainers made all the plans, and Athletic Director John Ratliff provided the bus. Dianne Arsenault, an accountant in the athletic department, served as chaperone. Following the walk, Keene State was given an award for having the largest fundraising group at the event. “It definitely feels good to give back to her because she helps us out in so many ways other than just as an athletic trainer,” said Kyle Barnett, a senior on the Owl men’s lacrosse team. “Nancy definitely goes above and beyond what she’s supposed to do.” PKD affects 600,000 Americans and 12.5 million children and adults, worldwide. Bleam, who lost her mother to the disease, was touched by all the support. “I am totally humbled, and so proud of ‘my kids,'” she said.