Unsung Hero: Claws for a Cause

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By Ashley Smith
By Josue

MARION -- The Marion School District is once again coming together to help some of its own staff members battling cancer.

In May, we introduced you to breast cancer survivor Traci Nicholson. She is a cook at Marion High School and was honored at a pink out event hosted by the school. Since that time, cancer has again touched her family.

"It's been a nightmare. My mom's birthday is May 1st, that's when she was diagnosed. And then at the end of the month, my aunt Cindy was diagnosed, which she just recently passed," explained Traci.

Traci's mom, Debbie Bearden, works at the cafeteria at Marion Junior High. The school district is again coming together to help their own through "Claws for a Cause."

"You know someone who has had cancer," said Marion High School secretary Holly Boyd.

In 2011 and 2012, Marion High School hosted a pink out game. This year "Claws for a Cause" will benefit three cancer survivors: Traci, Debbie, and Diane Green. Diane is a secretary at Adams School.

Each football player and cheerleader will wear a special jersey next Friday.

"Once you see the football players on the field with the name on the backs of people that have passed on or people that are still fighting like Traci and her mom are, then you will want to participate next year," said Holly.

Traci's son Justin, a linebacker on the team, participated in the event last year honoring his paternal grandmother.

"It felt good dedicating the game to her and not having to worry about anything but just playing for her," said Justin. "I plan on doing the same this year for my mom, and even though I'm not wearing my grandma's jersey, I'm gonna do the same for her. It's not about how you play, it's who you're playing for."

You are encouraged to come to the game next week to show your support for these three women who represent so many others fighting cancer.

"Looking up in the stands and seeing the pink shirts and everybody that's there, that means a lot," said Traci. "To know you have that support standing behind you, that's what gets you through everyday."

"My mom and my grandma will see how many people are there supporting them," said Justin. "They don't care if you're wearing pink, it doesn't matter. Just that you're there supporting them is all that really matters."

The game is Friday, October 11 at 7 p.m. at Marion High School.

For those who would like give, monetary donations will be collected at the game.
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