Cole’s Cancer Crushing Crue raises funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada

BELLEVUE, Iowa (KWQC) — About 15,780 children under the age of 19 are diagnosed with cancer each year, according to the American Childhood Cancer Organization.

On Saturday, two Iowa high school basketball rivals, Bellevue and Marquette Catholic, put their differences aside and became one team in a bid to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Bellevue senior Cole Heim, candidate for Student of the Year for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, has created a fundraiser that includes his passion for basketball.

“It’s great to see how many people come together during this game. We had shirt sales and it was the biggest order in the store,” Heim said.

The idea: a white veil. Teams and fans bought shirts with the message: “It’s not red or blue. We are all part of the Flood.

“It makes our school proud. I think our whole community is proud that we’re coming together for something much bigger than a basketball game. We come together to fight cancer,” said Bellevue Community School District Superintendent Tom Meyer.

Bellevue head coach Chet Kanake said he was proud of Heim for finding a way to bring the community together.

“Anytime you can promote kids who have fought cancer and gone through tough times, and allow them to have some good in their lives, that’s a great idea. Everything about sports is a life lesson, and I want them to remember what Cole has done for the community, the power you can have by using sports as a place to have your voice heard, and the good things you can accomplish,” Kanake mentioned.

Kyden Decker was named honorary player for the game. Decker was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia when he was just 17 months old.

“When we first heard that Kyden had been diagnosed with leukemia, we were taken back. We were in disbelief. Before that, he had neutropenia, so he wasn’t able to fight off infections. “, said Jon Decker, Kyden’s father. “It gives me hope for the future to see a young child, especially an elder, invest so much time and energy in research and support to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society which will help children like Kyden. It’s just a really cool thing to see.

Decker is currently in remission.

Leighton Meier was named honorary captain. He was diagnosed with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia in July 2019 and is undergoing chemotherapy once a month.

“[Chemotherapy was] pretty crazy at first, but once I got used to it it got a little easier for me. I just really got used to it not hurting me that much,” Meier said. “[The game] means a lot to me. He helps families going through cancer. It’s amazing that people have the time to do that.

“It’s great to be able to honor Leighton and Kyden tonight. The whole community is supporting them as well,” Heim said.

“We are united by the spirit of basketball, but we are united behind a community spirit, united behind a good cause. I think you can really see the beauty of two schools working together for something bigger,” said Geoffrey Kaiser, Principal of Marquette Catholic Schools.

Guests also enjoyed a silent auction, concessions and dance performances.

Even Heim said he was surprised at how quickly the community came together for his idea.

“For people affected by cancer, I’m sure it means a lot to them too. It’s crazy to see all the support the community has,” Heim said. “I’m sure I will have a moment where I look around and see so many people wearing these shirts, and it will be a great experience.”

Meier’s last scheduled chemotherapy appointment is in October, and he said he was excited to play with his friends.

To learn more about how you can donate to Cole’s Cancer Crushing Crushing, click or tap here.

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