Although the softball team practices on a diamond field, the true field of softball is the hearts of the team members. On Sept. 24, the softball team decided to dedicate their game to breast cancer awareness. “We have a player on the team whose mom is battling breast cancer. She just had surgery, and we knew it was hard on the freshman,” senior Quinn Ruff said.
Freshman Alyssa Cathcart’s mother, Christina Cathcart, has been in and out of the doctor’s office since the end of Alyssa’s eighth grade year. Since then, Alyssa and her father have been part of the support system for her mom. “My mom was embarrassed about her hair at first, but I kept on telling her that no matter how she looked, she was beautiful,” Alyssa said.
Christina has had a long journey of defeating breast cancer. She has had reconstructive surgery and several antibody treatments throughout her fight. However, she is nearing a victory in this battle. “I’m so thankful that my mother is healthy and only has one more reconstructive surgery. It’s in December, and I’m going to be as supportive as possible since I know her first reconstructive surgery was a long process of recovery,” Alyssa said.
Alyssa tried to surprise her mother with the breast cancer awareness-themed softball game, but the other parents on the team ended up telling her. Regardless, the game meant a lot to Alyssa and her mom. “The game was so much fun because I got to get my mother out there and have people know her as a survivor,” Alyssa said, “I love her so much and it hurts me to know she had to go through that because I care for my family, and family always comes first.”
Pink was a big theme of the game; from decorations to uniforms, the color made appearances throughout. Pink is a universal symbol for breast cancer along with a pink ribbon. The field was decorated with pink streamers and players wore pink belts, bows and socks. Their helmets featured pink ribbon stickers as well. The opposing team, Bennington, also participated. They joined Marian players in wearing pink belts and socks. Along with team participation, a pink ribbon was painted on the field. “They got a picture taken [of the field] and sent it to me. It got me a little emotional to be honest,” said Christina.
“Before the game, we had a prayer service where we took a moment of silence for anyone who has lost someone to breast cancer,” Ruff said. The moment of silence was also for their teammate, whose mom had just been through two surgeries for her cancer.
From the moment Alyssa began at Marian, both mother and daughter felt the constant support from the Marian community. “I think it’s great the school is supporting Alyssa and I on this journey. I feel really blessed,” Christina said.
Even though Marian lost the game 6-3, the athletes touched hearts that day. The time and effort they took to support their teammate is a tremendous act of kindness. “I’d like to thank the parents of the softball community because they basically made this happen. I would also like to thank my teammates for being there for me and helping me deal with this horrible situation,” Cathcart said. Although the softball field is traditionally a place for home runs and strikeouts, Marian’s team found a new way to use it for breast cancer awareness.