CIHS Volleyball teams raise funds for local student, cancer resources

The 10th grade, junior varsity and varsity volleyball players at Cambridge-Isanti High School are in the middle of their Dig Pink campaign to raise funds for Cambridge-Isanti High School 10th-grader Maddy Nelson, as well as the Harbor Room Cancer Resource Center at Cambridge Medical Center. The Dig Pink matches will take place Oct. 15. Community members are invited to attend and purchase items to help raise funds for the campaign. Photos by Rachel Kytonen

The 10th grade, junior varsity and varsity volleyball players at Cambridge-Isanti High School are in the middle of their Dig Pink campaign to raise funds for Cambridge-Isanti High School 10th-grader Maddy Nelson, as well as the Harbor Room Cancer Resource Center at Cambridge Medical Center. The Dig Pink matches will take place Oct. 15. Community members are invited to attend and purchase items to help raise funds for the campaign. Photos by Rachel Kytonen

This time, it’s personal.

Since 2010, the Cambridge-Isanti volleyball teams have raised approximately $4,000 through its October “Dig Pink” campaigns to benefit cancer resource organizations.

This year, the volleyball team has a personal connection to this year’s campaign.

Proceeds from this year’s Dig Pink activities will benefit CIHS 10th-grader and teammate, Maddy Nelson, as well as the Harbor Room Cancer Resource Center located at Cambridge Medical Center.

In February 2013, Maddy was diagnosed with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of cancer that accounts for 4 percent of all childhood cancers. Rhabdomyosarcoma is a cancer that develops from muscle cells and can arise from muscles in many different areas of the body.

The front and back of the Dig Pink T-shirts are in honor of Maddy Nelson, currently battling a rare form of childhood cancer.

The front and back (below) of the Dig Pink T-shirts are in honor of Maddy Nelson, currently battling a rare form of childhood cancer.

Varsity volleyball captains Ellen Wander, Abby Glotzbach and Sydney Larkin have all known Maddy their entire lives, and describe her as funny, energetic and high-energy.

The Dig Pink varsity volleyball match will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 15 at the Cambridge-Isanti High School gymnasium against Rogers. All cancer survivors receive free admittance, a pink carnation and special recognition during the game.

The players will be wearing special warm-up T-shirts that evening in honor of the Dig Pink campaign. The front of the shirts says, “Cancer Picked the Wrong Team.” The back of the shirt says, “This Time It’s Personal … For M.”

The Dig Pink campaign also involves selling T-shirts, headbands, wrist bands and other items during school hours and home volleyball matches throughout the month of October in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. They’ve also been selling items at home football games.

Dig Pink campaigns raised $1,500 for the Harbor Room in 2011 and 2012, and $1,000 to the Side Out Foundation in 2010.

“We are really giving everything we can to our Dig Pink efforts,” Ellen said. “We really want to do everything we can to continue to support Maddy.”

The team feels it’s important to continue the Dig Pink campaign.

“We do this every year to raise awareness for cancer,” Sydney said. “It’s a great way to bring all our volleyball teams together and give back to the community.”

Even though Maddy’s health treatments aren’t allowing her to play volleyball right now, the captains said she continues to be a part of the program.

“She’s in the gym all the time, and continues to be supportive of the program,” Abby said. in_DigPink2

The team feels community support is vital to the success of the Dig Pink campaign.

“We’d like to thank the community for all the support they’ve given to us the past few years, and we hope they will continue to help support our efforts in the fight against cancer,” Sydney said. “We feel this is great way for the community to come together.”

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