BROOKINGS – South Dakota State women’s soccer and Sanford Children’s Cure Kids Cancer! have teamed up this season to host the second-ever GOALD Game, Sunday, Sept. 12 at Fishback Soccer Park. The Jackrabbits host Morningside at 1 p.m., but the match will hold a deeper meaning as the organizations partner to raise awareness and support during National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
“This game is special,” head coach Brock Thompson said. “I told the team this morning that I hope this event is something that is part of Jackrabbit soccer long after we are all gone... Our team has rallied around it and it will be a special day. We want to be more than just a soccer team. When we recruit players, that is part of our vision. We want to be connected to the community.”
This year, the Jackrabbits will welcome honorary captain Evan Henning to the game to participate in the pregame coin toss. More on Evan’s story can be seen below and in this YouTube video.
Game t-shirts will be for sale at $10 each, with all proceeds benefiting the Sanford Health Foundation. The community is also invited to attend a free-will donation tailgate before the game at 11:30 a.m. Food will be provided by Cubby’s Sports Bar & Grill.
Fans unable to attend the game that would still like to purchase a shirt can do so by calling 605-261-3217.
Hailee Fischer, a goalkeeper for the Jackrabbits, is a driving force behind the GOALD Game, organizing the events in honor of her cousin, Ian, who passed away three years ago after courageously battling a rare upper perivascular epithelioid cell cancer. For more information on Hailee and Ian’s story, and the origins of the GOALD Game, click here.
“This cause is something that is really near and dear to my heart,” Fischer said. “[Childhood cancer] is something I wanted to bring awareness to, and we’ve been able to raise money for it now. We’ve been able to do that locally and reach out to people in the community about it as well, so I think it is something that has made an impact, not just with what color we are wearing on the field, but also in the community and people around us.”
Visit support.sanfordhealthfoundation.org to donate prior to the game and learn more.
Honorary Captain – Evan Henning
It all started with a fever...
In January of 2019, four-year-old Evan Henning and his family were enjoying post-Christmas life. But soon after, life as they knew it would change forever.
That January, Evan started running a low-grade fever followed by night sweats. Within nine days, and five doctors later, he was diagnosed with Burkitts Lymphoma, a very aggressive childhood cancer. Evan’s cancer was everywhere, with spots from the top of his head to the tip of his toes.
Chemotherapy was started immediately. Evan and his mom spent eight months in the hospital. With the help of the amazing doctors, nurses, and pharmacy team, Evan had his last dose of chemo on July 7th, 2019.
Evan is now a happy, healthy and very energetic 7-year-old who enjoys playing soccer with his sister Adelynn and brother Eli. He has been cancer free for two years!