Fight cancer, train with a pro
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — You can't miss the professional athletes at the Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center in Miami Beach, Florida.
They come to train, and the super-fast, super-chiseled, super-strong young men draw everyone's attention.
So, trainer Jesse Olinger had an idea: Use them as a lure to help his mom fight cancer.
"My mother has leukemia," Olinger said, "And we came up with this idea to raise money to pay for the bone marrow transplant she needs."
Olinger works with the pro athletes at Bommarito Performance Systems every day.
His idea was to sell raffle tickets, $25 each, with the winner getting a full week of V.I.P. training alongside the pros, and five nights at the Sole Ocean Resort and Spa in Sunny Isles.
"Any average Joe, an athlete or non-athlete, can come train with our professional athletes, be evaluated by our medical staff, meals and supplements included, massage therapy included, it's like fantasy camp for fitness buffs," Olinger said.
One of the athletes currently training is former All-Pro running back Willie Parker, who's trying to make it back to the NFL after an injury.
"They put together a great program for athletes as well as regular people just coming in and working out with us, getting to know us," Parker said.
One of those "regular people" is Sole Resort owner Tom Feeley, who works out regularly with the Bommarito staff.
"You know, for the average guy like me, it's really a treat to be able to come out here and train with the pros," Feeley said.
Olinger's mom, Sandy Cook, knows all about the raffle effort on her behalf.
"It's been a very touching experience for me," said Cook. "My outlook on life is completely different, of course, cancer has a very realistic way of making you set your priorities in a different way."
Olinger says through donations from people at the JCC, he's half-way to his goal of raising $5,000.
"I've had just an outpouring of support that has been really emotional, not just for myself, but for my mother," Olinger said.