Sports over sarcoma

Volleyball is more than a game to me.  When I think about volleyball, I think of high school, countless practices, and traveling for tournaments, but most importantly I think about Steven.  Growing up two years apart in age, we were able to compete in various sports throughout our childhood. Like many of those other sports, my dad coached Steven and me.  Although volleyball was my strongest sport, it did not take Steven long to catch up.

As we approach our fourth annual Spike Out Sarcoma sand volleyball tournament, I can’t help but reflect on the way that volleyball brought Steven and me together.  We both played volleyball at St. Albert the Great, and I began playing competitively as a freshman at St. X in 2002.  Two years later Steven decided to join the team as well. High school volleyball quickly turned into AAU teams and gave us more ways to play out our brotherly rivalry. Like most brothers, Steven and I were very competitive with each other; but when we had a chance to play together, it provided some of my fondest memories.   

Steven continued to play volleyball in various leagues throughout college and even after his diagnosis.  But sometimes the grueling chemotherapy Steven endured made it impossible for him to play. On one of those nights, Steven asked me to sub for him.  Even though he was feeling too bad to play, Steven still showed up for the game. He was there with a smile on his face, cheering on his teammates. I remember thinking that it was so unfair that cancer robbed him of the chance to play volleyball with his friends that night, and I wished there was something I could do.  Now, when I see Steven’s friends and family as well as members of the community coming together to play a sport Steven enjoyed, I know it is affecting change.

Next time you pick up a ball, go for a run, or play your favorite sport, take a moment to stop and think about how fortunate you are to have the opportunity to do the things you enjoy.  For too many people, cancer takes away that chance. Spike Out Sarcoma gives me, and so many others, the opportunity to participate in an event that we enjoy for a cause that truly makes a difference.

Please take a moment to see how you can get involved in the fourth annual Spike Out Sarcoma event on August 10, 2019.  You can participate as a player, sponsor, volunteer, or spectator. All your support helps continue our mission of eliminating sarcoma so nobody has to suffer as Steven did.

Michael VanoverComment