LAWRENCE, Kan. (KSNT) – The University of Kansas Jayhawks gathered to raise awareness for cancer research in a special event on Wednesday.

From Coach Bill Self to players past and present and athletics staff, the whole team showed up to Crown Toyota in Lawrence for Coaches vs. cancer. This event is meant to raise awareness for cancer research, provide access to care for fellow Kansans and educate people on the importance of early protection and getting screened.

“It’s so exciting to have the entire team, Mario and Bill here,” said Ashley Berndt, executive director of the American Cancer Society Kansas Area. “We’re excited to have the whole coaching staff and athletic department support for really this community event.”

The nationwide movement has raised $145 million for cancer research, something that Coach Self says is important and that we can’t stop doing.

“None has touched the vast majority of everybody like this disease has,” Self said. “But we can’t take the foot off the pedal. You know we need to keep the foot on the gas as our athletic department as our basketball program because we’ve has some good success happen to us, and same thing when fighting cancer. We need to keep the foot on the gas full-time.”

The event included a silent auction, revenue enhancers, panel speakers, the KU marching band and KU legend and two time NBA champion Mario Chalmers.

“One of my best friends, his mom died in 2006 from breast cancer,” Chalmers said. “That was like a second mom to me. So, just once I got in the right position to start my own foundation and start the way I wanted to give back, it was a no-brainer.”

Current Jayhawk superstar, Jalon Wilson, has also been impacted by cancer.

“You know I think about him all the time when I’m on the court,” Wilson said. “So, to be able to kind of represent him here and just give cause to as special as basketball. Because you know it’s always bigger than basketball. Especially with me, I’m such a family guy, so to be here it is special.”

Some of the silent auction items included a hunting package, a private Allen Fieldhouse tour, and even being part of a tunnel walkup.