Team Effort: ‘Ball for Blad’ event takes court in support of teacher’s son

ElliotBy: Sarah Stortz

This upcoming Saturday, a teachers vs. student basketball game will be held called “Ball for Blad.” The game was created to help raise money for world language teacher Simone Sundblad and her two-year old son, Elliot.

Last October, Elliot was diagnosed with kidney cancer. The tumour inside of him was around the size of a softball and was likely there ever since birth. He later on went through 12 weeks of chemotherapy before having both his tumor and cancer removed.

After recovering from the surgery, Elliot received seven radiation treatments followed by several more rounds of chemotherapy, with his last chemotherapy session being done last Tuesday.

“It has been a long six months, but we managed to focus on one day at a time,” Simone said. “We’ve had so much support from family, friends and even strangers.”

Students have previously helped the Sundblad family last semester by selling “Team Elliot” wristbands, but now they’re hoping to raise even more money by putting together a basketball game. The event was organized by senior Addison Long who wanted to help due to knowing Simone for a long time period.

“She’s always been the teacher that works beyond the blackboard,” Long said. “She puts so much confidence in her students and wants the best for them, so it was just a good way to help back and show her that we care.”

Long didn’t have much difficulty coming up with this event since the administration pushed for the idea as well. A few businesses have even donated for the fundraiser. “It would mean the world to her just seeing a lot of people there all showing appreciation for her and her family. Around 20 teachers and 30 students have signed up to participate in the game.

“I really wasn’t expecting that many staff or students signing up, so I think that’s awesome,” Long said.

While dozens of both students and faculty prepare themselves for the big game on Saturday, Simone expressed how gracious she feels about everyone coming together to help support her son. “We have truly experienced selfless love from so many people and feel beyond blessed to have such a supportive community of people surrounding us. I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive place to work than CFHS, students and staff alike,” Simone said. “I’m looking very forward seeing my colleagues and students come together to support my sweet boy, and I’m even more happy that Elliot should be healthy enough to attend the event and cheer me on from the sidelines.”

The event takes court at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, and tickets are $5. There will also be chances to win prizes in basketball competitions between games and silent auctions for baskets from various community businesses.

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