“No One Fights Alone”- Laporte Volleyball Team Supports Parent Battling Cancer
When the Laporte Wildcats have taken the floor this year, it’s been about more than just volleyball.
“Wins and losses are fun…but it gives you a purpose as far as life [goes],” says head coach Tamara Day.
On the seventh grade team, Lilly Ewert has had to deal with a lot more than just some bad passes this year. Her dad, Luke, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in May. He just had his last treatment this week in Rochester, and Lilly’s team has been supporting her throughout the season.
“You can turn to any one of them for your problems and they’ll help you,” says Ewert.
Throughout the year, the team has worn shirts in support of Luke, and yesterday they held a spaghetti dinner fundraiser that raised almost $2,500.
“Laporte is a very generous community,” says Marcell Noyes, Lilly’s grandpa. “The support from the school, the students, the faculty, the entire community has really come forth and supported Luke and the family. All this means so much to them going through their challenges.”
The Ewerts aren’t the only family the volleyball team has supported – last year they wore shirts and raised money for Remi, who is now in remission after battling neuroblastoma, and in 2017 they supported Roxi Erickson, who lost her battle with cancer later that year, and was the grandma of player Matia.
“It meant so much to me and my family,” says Erickson. “I was speechless when I found out and so was my family. We just really appreciated it.”
After seeing how much it meant to her, there was no question that the team would make it a tradition to play for more than just themselves.
“We’re not just about playing volleyball,” says junior Ella Fenske. “It’s about supporting other people in our community.”
Lilly says volleyball is her favorite sport and has been a welcomed distraction for her this year.
“It gets my mind off of it and when I get my mind off of it, I don’t really think about it and it’s less sad,” says Ewert.
“She’s always got a smile on her face in spite of the rough times. Her and I, we both have faith, so we believe her dad will just fine,” says Day.
But until that day comes and her family returns to normal, her volleyball family will be with her every step of the way.
The Ewerts have set up a GoFundMe to help offset medical costs while Luke is out of work.