Former athlete reaps benefits from local fundraiser

Covington native Ralph Crandle will have a fundraiser to help him pay for his medical bills.

A former student-athlete from the university football team, he has recently been diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma.

Ralph Crandle, a freshmen kinesiology major and former safety, was diagnosed with the disease shortly after the winter break.

The disease affects immune system cells called T-cells found in the blood, lymph nodes, skin, or multiple areas of the body.

In order to assist Ralph Crandle’s family with all of the medical bills, the 3rd annual Navonathon Fundraiser chose Ralph Crandle as its beneficiary.

Navon Crandle, director for the fundraiser, talked about the history of the Navonathon Fundraiser.

“The Navonathon is about paying it forward to those in need,” explained Navon Crandle. “In 2017, Navon Crandle was in a motorcycle accident which resulted in the loss of his right leg. A benefit was held to assist with medical bills and with obtaining a prosthetic, but also as a way for his friends and family to show their support. Navon has made the commitment to hold a benefit each year for someone in need as his way of paying it forward.”

Navon Crandle explained where and when the fundraiser for Ralph will be held.

“The Navonathon fundraiser is celebrating its 3rd annual event Saturday June 15, 2019, at Columbia Street Rock N Blues located in downtown Covington,” stated Crandle. “Our mission is to help and support a local individual who is experiencing a life-threatening illness and or tragic life event.”

This year’s fundraiser will be held at Rock N Blues in Covington. Navon Crandle discussed what the goal is for the fundraiser.

“The goal of the fundraisers is to raise money to support Ralph in his medical bills,” shared Navon Crandle. “It will also help with his medication, and transportation to and from New Orleans Ochsner medical center.”

Ralph Crandle shared how he felt when he was chosen for the fundraiser.

“It was honestly a huge blessing,” shared Ralph Crandle. “I am blessed by every little thing, from waking up to seeing my family. My friends have been a huge part of this journey too, because they have been there for me. I am blessed to wake up every single day, because not every day is promised.”

Even though Ralph Crandle cannot play football anymore, he will continue to be a bodybuilder and work hard in his classes.

“Even though I am an athlete I am still a student though, so I continued to focus on my studies,” stated Ralph Crandle. “It hurt me when I found out that I could not play football anymore. It’s something I grew up doing my whole entire life. I have been playing the sport since I was 5 years old. Everything happens for a reason though, so I just have to stay faithful.”

Ralph Crandle explained what his daily routine consists of.

“I usually wake up early in the morning and would eat a good healthy breakfast,” stated Ralph Crandle. “At 9 a.m. I will take my stomach medication, after that, I will spend the day with my family and completing my school work. Then again at 9 p.m. I have to take my medications again. If I decide to go out I have to wear a mask wherever I go.”

Last year, the Navonathon Fundraiser benefited the family of Aurora Leigh Bergeron, a 3-year-old girl who was born with rare multiple congenital anomalies of the brain.

Doors open at 3 p.m. Saturday, June 15.