Giving Back

The Inspiring Story Behind Layups 4 Life

Dan Exter with his mom Carol and brother Jason during their inaugural charity basketball tournament in 2015 Credits: Layups 4 Life
Dan with his parents Sheldon and Carol Exter Credits: Layups 4 Life
Layups4Life Credits: Layups 4 Life

PARSIPPANY, NJ - According to Dan Exter, you can be one of those people that spend a lifetime participating in Avon's Walks for Breast Cancer or run in various 5Ks for different cancer causes, but there is nothing that puts a spark and a fire in your life's mission until you awake one morning to a doctor with bad news.  In 2013, after seeing a lung specialist to address the shortness of breath he had been experiencing for the previous few months, he found out he had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (A.L.L) and at the young age of 27 was staring at a diagnosis that would change his life forever.

That experience in a nutshell was the impetus for the launch of Layups 4 Life, a 501(c)(3) organization that raises vital funds for cancer research and clinical trials, founded by cancer survivor Dan Exter.  While recovering and laying in his hospital bed, Dan made a promise to himself. That promise was that if he was fortunate enough to make a full recovery that he would be an advocate in the fight against cancer. It was during his recovery that Dan wrote on a piece of paper the idea of creating Layups 4 Life.

Now in its 4th year, the annual 3-on-3 Charity Basketball Tournament presented by Layups 4 Life will be held in Parsippany on Saturday, April 28th at the Parsippany PAL Youth Center. Previously the event has been held in Roxbury but due to the increased growth and popularity of the tournament, a bigger facility was required to accommodate a bigger crowd.  And according to Exter, there is more to the movement than the physical change in location.

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"10 years ago the transplant procedure that I had received to combat my cancer was once a clinical trial and due to generous funding and continued research it is now a proven procedure to treat cancers such as A.L.L.", says Exter a four (4) year survivor. 

Dan received a treatment plan that consisted of full body radiation, chemotherapy and a T-Cell depleted Stem Cell transplant. Dan’s younger and only brother, Jason, beat the 25% chance odds and tested as a perfect match and became Dan’s donor.

"My mission now is to make sure that everyone who is struck down with a cancer diagnosis, not only A.L.L (although that form of cancer remains a funding priority) has the same access to treatment and trials that provide the best chance for remission", says Exter.

Layups 4 Life's annual tournament will be held on Saturday April 28th and all NJ residents are invited to take to the courts and win the game in the fight against cancer.  Participants must be a minimum age of 13 years old. Both kids and adults are encouraged to participate, as teams will be placed in divisions based on age and skill-set. Last year's tournament drew over 40 teams for a third consecutive year! Registration is open next week on January 4th and you can register a team at their website:  The event is also seeking corporate and business sponsors.  You can request more information by emailing  

Layups 4 Life is founded on the principles of making a difference in the fight against cancer. It is L4L’s mission to help raise vital funds for cancer research and clinical trials at MSKCC.

Currently Dan is married to his now wife Dana who is also the co-founder of Layup4Life. (they were dating a year and a half when Exter was diagnosed)  He works as a Digital Media Strategist in Chatham at Theorem and they reside in Jersey City.

To date, Layups 4 Life has raised OVER $50,000 for cancer research and clinical trials at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. For more information on where those funds have gone or on the organization or upcoming events, please visit #Play4aPurpose   #L4L   #WhoDoYouPlay4


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