Fighting For McKenya: Community Rallies Around Teen Battling Cancer

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — BOLD High School — Bird Island, Olivia and Lake Lillian District — has been winning football games for about 30 years.

“A lot of it has to do with when they grow up watching from the sidelines and seeing what goes on,” said Coach Steve Solem. “And after you’ve been in coaching 30 years, you’re coaching sons of kids that played for you. And you know, the pride thing pretty much started back in ’90, ’91 when we went on a run.”

And they are unbeaten again in football, heading into the playoffs with an 8-0 record.

But it was more than a football game last Friday night, when they clinched the conference title against Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City.

It was a fundraiser for freshman student manager McKenya Egger, who is fighting for her own win.

She is hospitalized with an infection brought on by leukemia.

mckenya egger Fighting For McKenya: Community Rallies Around Teen Battling Cancer

(credit: CBS)

“She’s really fun. I mean, I see her in the hallways, she’s always smiling, she always has friends around her. She’s just a remarkable person,” said BOLD captain Austin Einerson. “What she’s done is really brave and really courageous.”

So on this night, the teams and the volunteers dressed in orange in her honor. And they came together from all over to make sure it was a success.

“A group from over in Bird Island that took their overtime from a company and donated all their money from their overtime to pay for this girl,” Solem said. “It was almost $1,000 that they donated. They just felt like it was something they could do. The teachers from Atwater-Grove City put baskets and stuff together, bought T-shirts out there, both teams had their pictures taken before the game.

That’s the way it is when you belong to this program; you care and you make sure your teammates matter — all of them.

“For us, I mean, the biggest part was just being there for her,” Einerson said.

No one will forget what happened on that field on that night. It was about the best of humanity, and it was about a team that cares a lot about one of their own.

They ending up raising $10,000.

McKenya is currently at the University of Minnesota hospitals.

She will be the first patient for a just-approved FDA drug that she will receive probably in November.

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