PORTLAND, Maine — Cheverus High School's girls' lacrosse team hosted Maine's first-ever high school 'Headstrong' game Thursday afternoon to raise money for a boy battling cancer.
Weston Lane has been battling neuroblastoma for about six months. His father, Sam, was the lacrosse coach at the University of Southern Maine.
The 'Headstrong Foundation' helps raise money for families dealing with cancer diagnoses. It was started by Nick Colleluori, a lacrosse player at Hofstra University who was diagnosed with Diffuse Large B-Cell non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a blood cancer affecting the lymphatic system, in April 2005.
Teams across the country hold 'Headstrong' games, wearing neon green chinstraps, shoelaces, and even changing the nets on the goals to that same neon green to raise awareness and money for families like the Lanes.
Cheverus' starting goalie, sophomore Neve Cawley, battled leukemia as a young child, finding out she was cancer-free by age 12. She said that beating and surviving cancer has changed her identity.
"Being known more for being an athlete and a smart kid than being known as a kid who was sick when she was younger -- that's kind of cool," said Cawley. "I feel like I'm a whole new person now."
Volunteers also sold 'Headstrong' t-shirts, bracelets, and other items for donations to the Lane family.
"There's been no lack of support from the lacrosse community and our friends and our family. It's really what makes day to day, the whole management of everything that's been going on in and out of the hospital and just helping him out really manageable," said Sam Lane, who came with his two sons, Weston, and Coby, to Thursday's game.
Lane said his son has been relying on blood transfusions and says donating platelets is one way people can help. The family is also receiving donations through a Go Fund Me page.
Friday, the Cheverus boys' team hosts the fundraiser at 4 p.m. at the Waynflete School.