Daleveille and Muncie Burris are Mid-Eastern Conference rivals. Their high schools are separated by 11 miles, but Friday night their communities came together to help support a courageous Daleville elementray school student.
Katie Kline, a Daleville elementary school student is undergoing treatment for a rare form of nerve cancer. This is her fifth fight against the disease. Her courageous battle caught the attention of two Daleville high school students who started a t-shirt drive and whose efforts helped lead to a “Yellow-Out” for the basketball game against Burris.
“As soon as I saw all of the yellow (in the gymnasium) it was instant tears. It was awesome to see everybody come together, including Burris, it was awesome to see them come together and help out too,” said Daleville student Tyler Reels who along with Jensen Hochstetler was one of a small group of seniors who started the Prayers for Katie t-shirts and whose constant drive allowed Friday event to be such a huge success.
Fans of the Indianapolis Colts know what it is like to be #ChuckStrong as so many people have rallied around Coach <runtime:topic id=”PESPT0014774″>Chuck Pagano</runtime:topic>, and many have shaved their heads to support his battle against <runtime:topic id=”HEDAI0000054″>Leukemia</runtime:topic>. You could say the Daleville Broncos are #KatieStrong thanks to a show of support and solidarity earlier this week.
“They actually all shave their heads, all the coaches, and everybody. They all shaved their heads in honor of Katie, they were so excited for this game today,” said Daleville senior Betsy Weston who joined Reels as one of the leaders of the “Yellow-Out” event.
All of the proceeds from the game went to Katie’s family to help offset medical costs in her battle against cancer. Thanks to the efforts of the community, care packages are going to Katie and her siblings for the rough time ahead.
The Daleville high school students deserve a great deal of credit for pushing forward and creating such a positive moment for a family that is obviously hurting so much inside. The money will prove very helpful, but there is no price tag for the emotions felt and good feelings Katie’s family will carry with them during days and months ahead.
“Katie’s mom is very appreciative. I don’t really think Katie knows what to say, but her brother has even said, it’s awesome,” added Reels.
One a night with where virtually everyone in attendance was wearing a “Fight to Win” t-shirt, the final outcome seemed rather unimportant.
Muncie Burris did win the game, 50-37, but there were no losers on this night. While Katie and her family have a difficult challenge in their battle against cancer, Friday night was proof they have many willing and supportive teammates ready to lend a helping hand.