When the Culver Military Academy football team hosted Brebeuf on Friday, Sept. 20, the Eagles also joined in another battle – the fight against childhood cancer.
September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Since 2017, the Indiana High School 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, Franklin, and Rose-Hulman are also participating in 2019.
Eagle coach Andy Dorrel originally brought the idea to the team. Since that time, senior players have run the program. One home game is designated for the awareness campaign. Players and coaches wore gold laces in their shoes and the cheerleaders wore gold ribbons in their hair. Gold is the color designated for childhood cancer. For his senior service project, player Henry Curtis (Lafayette, Indiana) coordinated the sale of the Tackle Childhood Cancer T-shirts to raise funds. A special “Miracle Minute” donation was also collected during the game.
The funds go to 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.
The PS We Love You Foundation was established because Patrick Barrett was the first patient to participate in Riley’s Pediatric Precision Genomics Program. While he passed away, the information gathered during his treatment has been helping doctors treat children with similar cancers. The fund was established because genetic testing is expensive and many medical insurance plans do not cover the costs.
The annual campaign now includes 150 elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and colleges in Indiana and Illinois. More than $200,000 has been raised. The goal is to raise $150,000 in 2019. For more information, click here.