When the Culver Military Academy football team hosted Mishawaka Marian Friday (Sept. 28), both squads joined together in another battle – the fight against childhood cancer.
To raise awareness, players and coaches wore gold laces in their shoes. Gold is the color designated for childhood cancer. For their senior service project, Culver players Joe Kuhl (Elmhurst, Ill.) and Cameron Roth (Naperville, Ill.) sold T-shirts the week before to raise funds for the PS We Love You Foundation at Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. The fund helps with research and to make the cost of treating children with cancer more affordable for families.
This is the second year the Eagles football team has taken on the cause. Coach Andy Dorrel originally brought the program to the team during a spring meeting in 2017. This year, Dorrel and the first classmen visited Riley Children’s Hospital during the first week of preseason camp (Watch Riley’s video about CMA’s visit).
The Indiana Football Coaches Association has been working with South Vermillion High School coach Greg Barrett and his wife, Molly, after they lost their son Patrick to a rare form of cancer. The Barretts asked other Hoosier high school football coaches to become involved with building awareness and raising funds.
Hoosier colleges Indiana State, Butler, DePauw, Franklin, and Rose-Hulman have also participated.
The PS We Love You Foundation was established because Patrick Barrett was the first patient to participate in Riley’s new Pediatric Precision Genomics Program. While he passed away, the information gathered during his treatment is helping doctors treat children with similar cancers. The fund was established because genetic testing is expensive and medical insurance plans do not cover the costs.
Since 2016, 38 elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and colleges in Indiana and Illinois have raised over $85,000 for the PS We Love You Fund, which is enough to benefit 28 children. The goal is to raise $150,000 in 2018.
Every year, more than 12,500 children are diagnosed with some form of cancer; and approximately 25 percent of those patients will not survive. For more information, click here.