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Courtesy House Republican media staff
Rep. Matt Lehman, R-Berne, was among legislators who wore sneakers with his suit on Monday to promote awareness of the fight against cancer.

Sneakers invade Statehouse

House legislators and staff donned an array of colorful kicks Monday in support of the "Suits and Sneakers" challenge to promote awareness of the fight against cancer.

One of them was Rep. Matt Lehman, R-Berne -- "I gladly wore my sneakers today with my suit. The impact this disease has on Hoosier families is devastating, and this is a small way we can help raise awareness and support for the families that are involved."

According to the American Cancer Society, last year 35,000 Hoosiers heard the words "you have cancer," and of those, 13,000 lost their lives to the disease. Suits and Sneakers is a program sponsored by the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches to help raise cancer awareness and support those affected by it.

Coach Greg Lansing of Indiana State University's men's basketball team represented all Indiana college basketball coaches during his visit to the Statehouse. He encouraged House members and staff to continue to raise awareness on ways to reduce the risk of cancer. These include eating right, exercising, making healthy lifestyle choices and following the American Cancer Society's recommended cancer screening guidelines.

"Cancer affects thousands of families across our state," House Speaker Brian Bosma said. "I appreciated the efforts that our Indiana collegiate coaches took in challenging the Legislature to help raise awareness. It was a great opportunity to show our fellow Hoosiers they're not alone in this fight."

To contact Niki Kelly email her at nkelly@jg.net or follow her on Twitter @nkellyatJG.