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Volleyball teams fight cancer together

Fight Cancer Night set for Oct. 12

By Holly Neumann

Volleyball programs from Iola-Scandinavia and Rosholt high schools will hold their annual Fight Cancer Night that will include raffle baskets, bake sales, concessions and three volleyball matches.

This year’s match between the Thunderbirds and Hornets will be held Thursday, Oct. 12, in Iola. Doors will open at 5 p.m., with junior varsity and JV2 matches at 5:45 p.m. The JV2 match will be held in the Iola-Scandinavia Community Fitness & Aquatic Center, while the JV and varsity matches will take place in the high school gym.

The teams will honor cancer fighters and survivors and remember those that have been taken.

Cancer fighters

Among the fighters will be former I-S volleyball coach Marie Skowen, who coached the T-Birds from 1994 to 2000 and now has three granddaughters playing on the teams.

She is currently battling ovarian cancer.

“I first got it in 2015,” Skowen said. “Then, I got it again in 2017, 2019 and now again in May of 2023. It’s hard to relax when in remission not knowing when it could come back or if it will be curable.”.

The hardest part is knowing how sick she will get from chemotherapy treatment, according to Skowen.

“Now, there is a shortage of the kind of chemo that has worked for me in the past,” she said.

Fight Cancer night means a lot, Skowen said.

“It means so much to me knowing that all these people are fighting and praying for you,” she said. “I’m hoping someday there will be a cure for this awful disease.”
I-S Principal Jan Bue-Wells said having I-S and Rosholt coming together for the cause sends the message that cancer affects everyone and everyone needs to band together in the fight.

“That community doesn’t have to be defined by geographic boundaries,” she said.

Bue-Wells lost her father, father-in-law, mother-in-law, and husband to cancer.

“My children were 7 and 10 years old when my husband passed away,” she said. “I will never forget the outpouring of support given to us during that difficult time. The community rallied and surrounded us with love. Events like this make an incredible difference for families dealing with cancer. It lets them know that they are not alone in their battle and that there are ways to find support.”

“Listen to your body”

Skowen reminded others to live each day to the fullest.

“Technology has come a long ways to detect cancer, but there are those silent ones that get you,” she said. “Get your yearly examination and most of all, listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right, go in and get it checked out until you are satisfied with the answer. You know your body better than any doctor.”

Skowen thanked event organizers who put on Fight Cancer Night each year.

“The money stays in our communities and helps cancer victims out,” she said. “I think it helps educate the younger generation also.”

Anyone wishing to contribute to the cause can contact Kori Printz ([email protected] or 715-445-2411, ext. 1502); Stacy Bestul ([email protected] or 715-445-2411, ext., 1313); Teresa Kielblock ([email protected] or 715-445-2411, ext. 1302); Houston Kizewski ([email protected]); or Cheryl Ziemann ([email protected] or 715-445-2411, ext. 1503).

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