September is Childhood or Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. The color for awareness is Gold. Dr. Nikol Youngberg was the Elementary principal and varsity football mom in 2012 when she approached head football coach Darrell Andrus about the possibility of bringing awareness for Pediatric Cancer during a September Football game and calling it “The Gold Game.”
Dr. Youngberg had first felt the impact childhood cancer when, as an assistant principal, she was devastated by the loss of 5th grade student Alyssa Bouve from cancer. Alyssa remained on her mind and forever in her memory as she named her daughter born that same year (2008), Shelby Alyssa. In addition to the tragic loss of Alyssa for our district, she felt the impact further by the experiences and awareness of one of her teachers at the Elementary school, Misty Beckwith. Her daughter Madison also fought Pediatric Cancer. Madison is currently a 5th grade student at Flour Bluff Intermediate. She is completely in remission and brings her own awareness and advocacy through her organization “Madison’s Rainbow Project”, https://www.facebook.com/Madis.Rainbow.Project/. This project collects and donates activities for children at Driscoll that are going through the same treatments she went through.
In addition to Madison and Alyssa’s stories, it soon became very clear that forms of childhood cancer significantly affects our district and many other school districts. Even today, we have students and families struggling and we need to show them that we love and support them. Mary Shannon, FBHS Freshman, for example. Mary was diagnosed September 19th, 2016. She missed her 8th grade year and came back her freshman year. She is currently in treatment and finishes January 5th, 2019. It is crucial to bring awareness so that forms of treatment and medication, specifically for children, are developed.
The tradition is now set for our “Gold Game”. It has been a great honor to have such an amazing team of student athletes and coaches support these families over the past several years. What you will see at Friday’s game is nothing short of amazing as these FBISD families walk through the tunnel with our players and participate in the coin toss; Players, cheerleaders, flag boys, and even Buzzy go all out in Gold; and during the halftime radio broadcast, FBISD staff (and this year student Mary Shannon) speak about the significance of the Gold Game and bring awareness about Pediatric Cancer.
Finally, this Friday’s game is to honor and remember all children that have had to fight this terrible illness. However, we would like to honor and remember of some very special Hornets.
In memory of Alyssa Bouve (Tracey, Joel, Courtney & Cole Bouve)
In memory of Trenton Hayes (Jennifer and Joshua Hayes)
In honor of Mary Shannon (Angela & Chad Reneau, Ed Shannon, EJ Shannon, Adley Reneau)
In honor of Zoe Schillinger (Tanya, Troy, Zander, and Zaylen Schillinger)
In honor of Madison Beckwith (Misty and Jeremy Beckwith; Kendra Beckwith)
To find out more about how you can help, please visit the following site:
Brooke’s Blossoming Hope for Childhood Cancer http://www.brookesblossoms.org/
Brooke Hester was a local inspiration that had Neuroblastoma. Through her journey, Brooke touched me and MANY, MANY others here in the coastal bend to do more and bring more awareness. Her non-profit organization helps children with cancer undergoing treatment and strives to provide awareness and funds for critical research for children with cancer.
Article written by Flour Bluff Elementary Principal, Dr. Nikol Youngberg