Costa Mesa, Calif. - Vanguard women's soccer has been personally impacted by breast cancer. Every October, the team dons pink ribbons in their hair during contests in support of the cause. This year, the senior class decided that they wanted to contribute something more.
The class of 2012-13 bounced ideas off of one another and finally decided to share their delegated senior day, an annual game dedicated to honoring the fourth-year player's career accomplishments, with a cause close to their hearts.
Seniors Charlotte Wisniewski and Lauren Evans took it upon themselves to reach out to several Lions from the past whose lives have been altered by the disease.
Three players came forward with the hope of making a difference. Here are their stories on breast cancer and how it has personally affected their families.
Former player, Kat McDonald
"My mom is one of the strongest and most selfless women I know. Last year she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to go through several surgeries and months of chemotherapy. Through flights (immediately after surgeries) and live stats my mom never missed a game. She is currently a breast cancer survivor and still remains my hero. Thank you to my team, coaches and the Vanguard staff for all of your prayers."
Former player, Jill Foss
"I have always been considered a ‘mama's girl', so having my mom fight breast cancer not just once, but twice, has been something I never thought my family would have to endure. Watching someone you love so much go through the hardship of chemo and a mastectomy truly does become a humbling experience. This whole journey has brought my mother and I closer together and ever since she has been cancer free we have been participating in the Susan G. Komen 5K to always remember how blessed we are to still have my mom on this earth."
Former player, Kasey Reutter
"In 2000, my life was drastically changed because of breast cancer. I watched my mom fight for years and eventually the pain became too much for her. Every step of the way, my mom had this light about her and I knew it was because she had faith that she was going to be in heaven watching over my family and I. After she passed, my family and I made a promise to fight for her and others affected by breast cancer. Team I Hope You Dance was made in honor of my guardian angel, Cynthia Reutter. We choose to walk 60 miles in 3 days for the Susan G. Komen Foundation because we have faith in a future with no breast cancer. We fight for that light at the end of the tunnel. Fight with us."
In an attempt to make a contribution toward finding a cure and raising awareness for a disease that has plagued so many of their loved ones, Vanguard will hold a "PINK" fundraiser during its contest against Golden State Athletic Conference opponent, No. 12 Westmont on Saturday, October 27th.
The match will decide who wins the GSAC title. It is a significant event for several reasons, as the eighth-ranked Lions have never won a women's soccer GSAC championship and the seniors will participate in the final regular season home contest of their careers, but ask anyone on the 2012 squad and they will tell you what is ultimately important. After all, teams are much like families, and when one is affected, all of the parts feel an impact.
Please join the Pride on Saturday at 4:00pm on the VU Soccer Field. Wear pink (a lot of it) and do what you can to support the cause and the Lions.
Vanguard Athletics will use ticket sales to match a portion of donations received. All donations will go directly to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Since 1982, the Susan G. Komen Foundation has played a critical role in every major advance in the fight against breast cancer - transforming how the world talks about and treats this disease and helping to turn millions of breast cancer patients into breast cancer survivors.
"We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed."
-2 Corinthians 4:7-9-