Sunday, April 23, 2006


Yesterday, I met a little girl named Audrey. Audrey is eleven years old. She has two sisters, one older, one younger. Audrey loves soccer and she is one heck of a player. Audrey does well in school makes friends easily and is an all-around good kid. Audrey has cancer.

When Audrey was diagnosed, just a few short months ago, her entire life changed. No more school, no more soccer. Audrey and her family have been going through what so many families experience when cancer comes knocking- everything else stops. Your life is now doctors, hospitals and waiting. Audrey waits for treatment and for the day she can kick a soccer ball again. Her parents wait for their hearts to stop breaking. Her parent's vigilance is amazing. I am quite certain that after talking with Audrey's father for 10 minutes that I probably met one of the strongest people in this world. Saying this man was a positive thinker is an understatement. He is the true definition of a parent- there is clearly no limit as to what he'll do for his children.

On top of all this, Audrey's insurance provider has decided they can no longer cover her. That's right, an eleven year-old in daily treatment for cancer is no longer covered by insurance. Audrey doesn't know what this means. Her parents are at a loss. Someone had to do something. And someone did. Her soccer coach, and her entire soccer team, in fact. Yesterday over seventy soccer teams of all ages and abilitites came together in a charity soccer tournament hosted in Audrey's honor. All funds, donations and proceeds going to Audrey's treatment.

The people that put this together (in only three weeks) amazed me. They were organized, determined and thoughtful. Games were played from 8:00 in the morning till 8:00 at night. And not once was a score announced. Everyone knew why they were there.

Around noon, Audrey was able to make it to the tournament. She was able to do a lap around the field with her teammates and even kick a ball around a little. Because Audrey is currently in chemotherapy for eight hours a day, five days a week, she has very little "off time." But yesterday, Audrey had some off time. She knows it doesn't come often and, even at her young age, she knows the uncertainty of everything around her. I pray she also knows we are all pulling for her.


Runner Girl FL said...

These kinds of healthcare issues are ridiculous!!

I'm always happy to hear when a community comes together to help someone because it is the right thing to do.

I wish Audrey a speedy recovery!!

Bre said...

Stories like this both give me hope and break my heart. On the one hand, I'm amazed that people are able to remain positive and to fight for everything with all that the have in them. On the other hand, how could an insurance company deny that girl anything?

You truly do great work to be able to work with people like this and bring them support!

GirlGoyle said...

Life can really be unfair but plaguing a child with cancer is a wrong beyond all wrongs.

justacoolcat said...

I agree with GG - It's especially hard hitting when bad things happen to kids.

People that are opposed to sports forget about the positives. Her team is like a second family there to help out in a crisis.

I'm also curious about the insurance company. That gets me boiling.

JustRun said...

I agree. The healthcare issues this country has to face put almost as much weight on patients and doctors as the diseases themselves.

And that's a good point about the sports teams, CoolCat. Imagine, giving the kids the idea that there's something more important than winning.

deepThoughts said...

It is unbelievable how many cases I have read of late, about people having issues with their insurance, right when they need it most.

Sending lots of happy thoughts and prayers for Audrey.