Proceeds to benefit accelerate brain cancer cure


Sunday, April 25, 2010

University of Maryland Men's Soccer 1 UVA 0

Friday April 23rd was another great night for Justin. Terps Coach, Sasho Cirovski has been so instrumental in Justin's Quest. He has personally taken Justin under his wing to help raise awareness and find a cure for brain tumors. Coach Sasho came out with the below press release:
Terps vs. Cavaliers at the SoccerPlex

Come out and watch the Maryland Men’s Soccer team take on Virginia to raise awareness of brain tumors by spotlighting Justin’s Quest.
Tickets are $5 for Maryland students with a valid ID and youth under the age of 12. Adult tickets are $10. All tickets will be sold at the gate only and on a cash-only basis.
Justin’s Quest was founded by the Friedlander family after their son Justin was diagnosed with a brain tumor in March of 2009. Justin was chosen to be Maryland’s honorary captain on the bench in the NCAA Elite Eight rematch against the Cavs while a portion of the proceeds raised at the gate will go directly to the National Brain Tumor Society. Justin’s Quest is aiming to raise $250,000 for the society while shooting 40,000 baskets, one for every person diagnosed with a brain tumor this year. Members of the men’s soccer team shot baskets with Justin earlier this year.
Visit the Terps website for more information.
This press release led to over 1000 people to attend the game. Further, Top Drawer Soccer televised the game via webcast and they were so awesome as their TV analyst Keith Tabatznik interviewed Justin and I and Justin with star guest Greivis Vasquez, Terps basketball star and future NBA star. Keith has been so nice in supporting our family from the beginning of Justin's diagnosis and we really appreciate what he has done. Before the game started Justin and Greivis were at center field for the national anthem and Justin kicked the ceremonial first ball. Justin was all smiles. Then the game started and Justin sat on the bench with all the Terp players for the whole game. The Terps were so nice to him and Justin before the game gave each player one of his yellow Justin's Quest Wristbands and they wore them proudly. Halftime was a treat as Justin and Greivis had a speed contest with each person having to run the whole field while putting on a shirt, shorts and dribbling a ball across the whole soccer field and then score a goal. Justin won as Greivis slipped twice and Justin only once. The game was very physical and well played. Maryland was the better team that night. At the end of the game Top Drawer Soccer presented Justin with a $1000 check. That was so generous of them and we cannot thank them enough. They gave Justin a large cardboard version of the check for the presentation. Justin loved it so much and was proud of it he placed it over his bed. The Terps donated a portion of the gate proceeds which was $1500 and that was so generous. It was a great evening had by all.
We are so thankful for all the soccer fans that attended the game and all the people who were involved in the organizing and participating in this event.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

All Aboard

Thursday night April 22nd was an awesome night because DC 50 TV graciously provided there limo/bus for transportation to the Lavar Arrington/ Chad Dukes radio show on the Fan 106.7 and to the sports bar Icons for a taping of Sports Week hosted by Lavar and Chad. The neat thing about this event was the ability for us to invite some of our family and some of Justin's friends to this event to share in our joy first hand at a wonderful event. The bus came to our house and about 20 people piled in on the way to Lavar'as radio show. The kids were very excited to be on this awesome bus. We were scheduled to be on the show at 5:30 PM. We arrived a bit early and our entourage eagerly and excitedly marched into the radio station. The staff of the Fan 106.7 were very nice to all of us. The moment came when our segment was going to start. We went into the tiny studio and as before Lavar was as gracious as ever as he greeted Justin and our family. My brothers Gary and Bobby were like little kids waiting to meet a sports legend. Again, Lavar was awesome with the rest of the posse. We got to meet Lavar's sidekick Chad Dukes and he was very funny and compassionate towards our cause. We had a treat and also met Redskin Lorenzo Alexander and saw again Matt Cahill, Lavar's producer who is fantastic. The time came for us to do our segment and the posse has never seen a radio studio and again Lavar was unbelievable and let everyone pack the studio like sardines. All of our guests were as quiet as church mice while Justin, myself and Jeff Kolodin, Vice chair of NBTS, took our seats at the microphones and began to talk and be interviewed. Again, I was blown away at Justin's poise in speaking and this time it was Justin's first appearance on live radio. Lavar and Chad were great in letting us tell our story and they promoted the website and our cause significantly. The Posse were in amazement at the whole event and Audrey and I were glad to see them share in this. The radio show was a huge boost to raising awareness and finding a cure for brain tumors.Our segment Lavar's show during the best part of the drive home segment and NFL draft night was huge. Our live segment was about 25 minutes. The fun did not stop there. The bus took us to Icons Sports Bar for the taping of Lavar's TV show. Justin appeared on the show with Lorenzo Alexander. Again, it was a great experience for all, as most of us had not seen a TV show taping. Again, Justin was as cool as a cucumber and charmed the crowd. People came over to him and were so amazed by Justin and were so inspired. Lavar was great as he posed for pictures and signed autographs for the posse. A highlight of the evening for Audery and I was our meeting with Howard Rosenberg, who is a brain tumor survivor and brother to Jay Rosenberg. Jay has been so instrumental in jump starting Justin's Quest into high gear. Howard was diagnosed at the age of 13 years old and over 40 years ago they did not even have anything close to our technology as we have today. The significance of this meeting was to see get some insight into the Rosenberg family brain tumor saga because I now have a better understanding why Jay is so passionate about Justin's Quest. Jay was like my 3 boys today in dealing with a brother that has a brain tumor and he understands what my boys 3 other boys are going through. Howard was a true inspiration to Justin and our family. A 25 year old gentlemen came over to us and wanted to meet Justin. He was a 5 year cancer survivor and was blown away by Justin's courage and desire. I sat back and watched the whole evening as the kids ate dinner and watched the NFL draft in awe and disbelief as I had to pinch myself to do a gut check because I cannot believe what we are doing to make a difference and that is my son who has the brain tumor who is spearheading this cause. The bus took us home and it was a great night had by all. Again, a big thanks goes to the folks at DC 50 TV and The Fan 106.7

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Under The Weather

Justin has had a cold the past couple of days. No problem for him in shooting hoops, as he said to us that he needs to make baskets. He and his brothers shot 150 hoops the past 2 days. Justin will also be doing Lavar Arrington's radio show on this Thursday. Justin is brushing up on his football draft day picks.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

NBA Playoff Weekend

Justin is very excited for the NBA playoffs starting this weekend. As you can imagine it was a big basketball weekend for Justin and his brothers shooting hoops for Justin's Quest. They shot hoops at different times during the weekend. They shot a total of 450 hoops this weekend. This week is a big week for Justin's Quest. On Thursday DC 50 TV station is sending there limo bus to pick up the family and some people helping us out. They are taking us to the sports bar called Icons to watch the taping of the TV show called Sports Week hosted by Lavar Arrington and Chad Dukes. They did a segment on Justin which will air next Sunday. This Friday Justin will be the honorary captain for the University of Maryland Men's soccer team in their match against UVA at the Germantown Soccerplex. Justin is very excited for the big week.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wizards Win Season Final Versus The Pacers 98-97

What a special night last night. We received a call this week from former Redskin superstar, Lavar Arrington's producer Matt Cahill that they were interested in doing a feature on Justin's Quest on Lavar's TV show with DC 50. They had an idea that Justin would shoot hoops at the Verizon Center during the Wizards last game during a TV timeout. That alone was a huge gesture to help spread the word. But wait, it gets better, Brian Sereno, Director of Public Relations for the Wizards turned this night into a huge event for our family. Brian, sent a press release from the Wizards about Justin's Quest to all the media Thursday. Well that got the ball rolling. I received a phone call at 4:20 pm Thursday from Lindsay Czarniak, sports anchor for NBC 4, and she wanted to interview Justin and I live from the Verizon Center court at 5:45pm. We raced down to the Verizon Center and were greeted by Brian. Brian himself is a brain tumor survivor of 18 months and a true inspiration. Brian treated our family like VIP's, we went to the locker room before the game and met the Wizards' players and had a basketball signed by them. Justin and his brothers acted as ball boys getting rebounds during the warm up. We had floor seats on center court, the best seats in the house. The night was incredible as Justin and the family were interviewed by other TV stations and that helped us spread the word. Justin was so cool and collected as he described his ordeal to the public. The big event came after the 2nd TV timeout in the 2nd quarter. Justin was going to to shoot hoops in front of the crowd and Lavar Arrington was going to rebound for him. The time came and a very energetic female MC came over to Justin during the timeout and interviewed Justin and the whole crowd could hear it on the PA system. What really moved me was after she asked Justin what is Justin's Quest she then asked him "why are you doing Justin's Quest" and he said with confidence that I HAVE A BRAIN TUMOR to the thousands in attendance. At that moment I was blown away by this kid who will make such a difference in raising awareness and find a cure for brain tumors. You could see the determination on his face and at the same time he was having fun. He made 2 out of 3 shots and the crowd went nuts. At the end of the game after the Wizards won a nail bitter, Andre Blatche, the Wizard's star player came over to Justin and gave him his head band and warmup shirt. Justin's eye lit up and he held those mementos closely and told Audrey that she cannot wash them even though they were very sweaty. A special thanks goes to the whole Wizards organization for allowing Justin to do this night and to Eric Meyrowitz of DC 50. Overall Justin and his brothers made 20 shots. What a night to remember. It is hard to believe that so many people care about Justin's Quest.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sunny Weekend

It was a good weekend for shooting hoops for Justin's Quest. Justin and his brothers shot hoops outside and inside each day. The total hoops made were 600, a very productive weekend!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Big Couple Of Days

After Justin appeared on National TV last Friday, he was determined to shoot alot of hoops to put a dent in his quest. Justin, his brothers and cousins shot 750 baskets from Saturday through Tuesday. That was a great accomplishment. Back to school today as Spring Break ended. Justin was excited to see all his friends at school.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


I apologize for not writing this blog earlier but the whole family was still in a daze from the events on Friday. We received a call from the CBS producers that they wanted to do a segment on Justin's Quest. We were so honored by this. Well come to learn that TV productions happen last minute and we received confirmation late Wednesday of the big day. CBS booked the 6 of us: myself, Audrey, Jordan, Justin, Jacob and Joey on the Delta Shuttle and 2 rooms at the Le Meridian hotel. By the way this day would not have happened if it were not for the efforts of Jay Rosenberg and Eric Shuster of Comcast Sports Net securing the surprise guest Greivis Vasquez for the show. Greivis was supposed to be in Indy Thursday for a dinner that night before his presentation of the Bob Cousy award for the best point guard in college basketball. He jumped at the chance to help Justin, that shows what great character this man has. Not only did Jay make the contact to get Greivis he personally flew him up on his private plane to make all this happen. Justin and his brothers had NO IDEA that Greivis was going to surprise them at the set. We landed at Laguardia airport in New York at 5:30 pm and CBS arranged for a black SUV to pick us up. You could see the smiles on the kids faces. We got to the hotel and of course the first stop was Justin's favorite store, the NBA store. We shopped frantically as we had a 8 pm reservation at Carmens for a fantastic Italian dinner with our family and a Chris Grundner, a member of NBTS. We got back to the hotel and Justin wanted to sleep with me as Audrey and I sensed he was a little nervous about the segment, you would never know it because he acted like an elite athlete getting ready for the big game. You could feel and see the determination on his face both days as he wanted the public to understand his story and raise awareness about brain tumors and help others. He finally he got to sleep around 11:30 pm as I was up on my computer doing work for my company. He finally said " dad you have to get in bed with me and hug me or I cannot fall asleep", of course I obliged. The morning came quick as I slept very little. I got ready around 5 am and got the rest of the family up at 6 am to get ready for our car to take us to CBS studio at 7 am. We arrived at CBS at 7:15 am and were greeted by Carl and Maricar the wonderful producers from CBS. We were led downstairs to a conference room which had breakfast for us. The staff treated us great. Myself and Justin were nervous as both of us had never been on National TV. We both had our game faces on. Audrey and I were nervous for Justin. Again, he was very excited for this segment because he knew that because of CBS's generosity he would take a huge leap forward in his goal with Justin's Quest. At 8 am they took Justin and I to the makeup room and I joked with Justin that he was going to get lipstick and eye shadow, he laughed. Again, you could see the determination of this boy to make a difference for people afflicted with this disease. The time came for us to go to the plaza and they had Justin and his brothers shoot hoops 5 minutes before the segment. We were fitted with mics and then it happened so fast. Harry Smith from the CBS Early Show greeted us and was so awesome in giving words of encouragement. We gave most of the staff we dealt with Justin's Quest wristbands and they happily wore them. Then ACTION, the interview started and it was so exciting. Of course the best part was the Greivis Vasquez surprise. Justin's face lit up with such surprise and the biggest smile I have seen from him since he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. After the segment was over we spent about 10 private minutes with Greivis and his cousin Ruben as Greivis had to catch a plane to Indy. Greivis was so incredible and genuine in his care and concern for Justin's plight. He even gave Justin his wristband that he has worn for 5 years from his high school Montrose Christian and signed a basketball for Justin along with a signed hat and tshrt. Justin was so honored to get the wristband. Greivis had to leave for a flight to make his award ceremony in Indy by 1:30 pm. All we can say is a huge thank you to Greivis for taking the time out of his busy schedule to do this, he is so awesome, it is an experience the whole family will not forget. We want to thank the CBS Early Show for honoring our family with this segment because they have helped further the cause of Justin's Quest as we received numerous emails and donations from this segment. BUT WAIT it did not stop that day. Jay had arranged another surprise for Justin and the family. He arranged for us to shoot hoops with 2 of the band members of OAR, Benj and Mark at Battery Park. Mind you these guys are superstars, who happened to grow up about 2 miles from where we live and they were 2 of the most down to earth people you would have ever met. They spent about 45 minutes with us shooting hoops and talking with us. If you never knew who these guys were you would not believe that they were rock stars as they are so grounded and humble. They blew me away by their compassion and concern for Justin. We cannot wait to see them in concert in August as they want to help with Justin's Quest. They even offered to hang with us at a barbecue when they come down to the DC area. We cannot wait. We left them and had pizza and shopped some more then went home and have been in a daze from all the excitement. For 2 days our family felt like VIP's and had so much fun but what we all discussed on the plane that what we were most proud of, was the accomplishment that we made a huge leap in advancing Justin's Quest. At the end of the day all that matters is that we try to help others with this terrible disease. Audrey and I are so proud of our kids and especially Justin for wearing his emotions on his sleeve for the world to see and sacrifice himself for the good of others afflicted with this disease. Again, Thank you to all those involved in making this day happen and hopefully the National Brain Tumor Society is one step closer to making a cure for brain tumors happen. that day 25 hoops were made.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Spring Break

The family was away for at the Eastern Shore for a couple of days. Unfortunately it poured down rain the whole time so only 10 hoops were shot. We got a call from the producers of the CBS Early Show and they are going to do a segment on Justin's Quest in the 8 O'clock hour this Friday April 2ND, probably around 8:30AM. This is LIVE NATIONAL TV. Justin and the family are very excited. In preparation, Justin and his 3 brothers shot hoops last night and made 50 shots.