Hoops for a Cause raises funds for HIV support, cancer research

Gerald Victor Sr., president of Hoops for a Cause, hosted a charity basketball game earlier this month raising more $1,000 for HIV support and breast cancer research.

While the cause is noble, Victor’s story, perhaps, is equally noteworthy.

Though Victor is disabled he has determined not to let his health keep him from a life of service to others. He teaches 10 chair exercise classes a week to seniors across the city.

Drawing on his career as a physical therapy assistant, he said teaching gives him renewed strength. “I stay focused. I love helping people. I love teaching exercise…It keeps me going.”

Initially he was “ready to sit down” when his health began declining. Knowing others were depending on him, however, gave him the will to keep going, he said.

“As long as I’m helping people, it just wasn’t the thing to do. I had to keep going.”

He began as volunteer instructor with the YMCA seven years ago which quickly turned into a paid job. Victor now has about 30 students in each of his classes many of whom donated to the charity basketball game.

The c game was part of a vision Victor has had for a number of years, he said. He decided this was the year to turn the dream into a reality.

“I don’t know when I may die. I could die tomorrow…God has blessed me to be able to go through with it,” he said.

Funds will be donated to the Ethel Precht Foundation and to the Southwest Louisiana AIDS Council. “It might not help thousands but it’s going to do something,” he said.

Hoops for a Cause President Gerald Fitz teaches a chair exercise class to seniors.

Special to the American Press

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