SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

November 2, 2012

Jean DePlacido column: Danvers pals complete Ride for Jay

Jean DePlacido
The Salem News

---- — Although the weather didn’t cooperate, that didn’t stop two hearty Danvers residents from completing “The Ride For Jay”, a 65 mile bike trip for a very good cause. Chad Cerullo and Daniel Stanley biked in the rain from Danvers to Chad’s brother Jay’s house in Manchester, N.H., to raise money to help with the many expenses Jay has while he battles cancer.

The night before the ride a large group of family and friends gathered at the Maple Street Tavern to raise money through raffles, a silent auction, and other fun things. Cerullo expected to be joined by a dozen other riders on Sunday, Oct. 14, but because of inclement weather the two friends, who help coach Danvers Girls Softball, did it together.

“Jay has been battling a brain tumor for 10 years, beginning when he was 14,” said Chad Cerullo, who played football and baseball for the Falcons. “He’s had at least four major surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation — the whole works. About four months ago the doctors at Mass General said there was nothing more they could do for him.

“He took a trip to Florida to see our brother, and shortly after started having seizures so they put him in an induced coma for six weeks after he’d suffered 10 seizures in about two hours. It was during that difficult time that I decided to do the ride to his home in New Hampshire and ask for donations. A couple of my friends got involved and organized the fund raiser at Maple Street Tavern. We want to help with his expenses and with his young children ages four and two.”

Cerullo knew he had to get in shape quickly. He has been working out for the last two years, but only started bike riding three months ago. Going such a long distance was challenging even without the bad weather.

“I was riding six or seven miles every day in the gym before I started biking outdoors,” he said. “We hope to do The Ride For Jay next year along with some other events before then. Jay’s twin brother David has set up a foundation, and we would like to keep helping the family out even if my brother isn’t fortunate enough to make it. He’s a real fighter, and we’ll help in any way we can.”

Stanley also prepared for the long journey. He began biking to work, taking the 20 mile trip each way, to get ready for the long ride.

“I wanted to help Chad out even when though it wasn’t a good day for riding,” said Stanley, who lived in Danvers as a child before the family moved to Haverhill. He has always been active in sports, went to Salem State and then moved back to Danvers with his family. “We got it done, and we’re already thinking about ramping things up. We need to organize, and make this an annual event. Jay is a single father, and his young children will continue to need our help. “

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Salem State men’s lacrosse coach Trevor Eaton expects to have a very good season. And if the fall practices and games are any indication, the Vikings should be an exciting team to watch. Eaton has brought in a top-notch freshman team headed up by Ben Melaugh, an All-American from Billerica. He figures to fit right in and contribute offensively from the start. He joins fellow Billerica High sophomore Ian Abrahamson on the Vikings.

In the last game of the fall, Salem State beat Nichols, 7-4 behind a four-goal performance from A. J. Robertson, who also had two assists. Melaugh chipped in with two goals and two assists.

“Ben is our first (high school) All-American,” said Eaton. “He’s the cream of the crop, a solid player that we will build around. I ref indoors, and that’s where I first got to know him. We’re building a little Billerica pipeline which is nice because they have good, hardworking players. I’m looking forward to the season (starts March 2 against St. Joseph’s College).

Eaton believes 2013 will be the best season for the Vikings since they became a varsity program. He had a large turnout for fall ball, and the returning veterans and newcomers have all been working hard to gear up for the Little East Conference.

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Jean DePlacido is a correspondent for The Salem News. You can contact her at JMDeplacido@aol.com.