When the Culver Military Academy football team hosted Brebeuf last Friday (Sept. 15), both squads joined together in another battle – the fight against childhood cancer.
To raise awareness, players and coaches from both teams wore gold laces in their shoes. Gold is the color designated for childhood cancer. Culver students also sold T-shirts during the week 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.
Students also passed several Riley Red Buckets through the football crowd during a special “Miracle Moment” prior to the start of the fourth quarter.
First classmen Reece Chapdelaine (Petoskey, Michigan), Carson Bellman (Bremen, Indiana) and William Hetzel (Libertyville, Illinois) took on the cause for their senior service practicum after coach Andy Dorrel talked about program during a meeting last spring. Bellman and Hetzel decided to take on the project and Chapdelaine joined them shortly thereafter.
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.
Every year, more than 12,500 children are diagnosed with some form of cancer; and approximately 25 percent of those patients will not survive.