The Marquee

Filed under Feature, Top Stories

Volleyball honors young cancer survivor

Chelsey+Reichenberger+stands+on+the+court+before+the+volleyball+game+waiting+to+receive+her+award.+Her+shy+side+came+out+as+everyone+in+the+stands+had+their+eyes+on+her.+She+said+all+the+attention+made+her+feel+nervous.
Chelsey Reichenberger stands on the court before the volleyball game waiting to receive her award. Her shy side came out as everyone in the stands had their eyes on her. She said all the attention made her feel nervous.

Chelsey Reichenberger stands on the court before the volleyball game waiting to receive her award. Her shy side came out as everyone in the stands had their eyes on her. She said all the attention made her feel nervous.

Erin Kimball

Erin Kimball

Chelsey Reichenberger stands on the court before the volleyball game waiting to receive her award. Her shy side came out as everyone in the stands had their eyes on her. She said all the attention made her feel nervous.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The crowd talked amongst themselves as the volleyball players warmed up on the court. Their yellow “Cheerful for Chelsey” shirts brought a pop of color to the stadium. As the girls started to play, their focus was heightened. They were playing for more than just themselves that night.

The volleyball program hosted their annual Heart of a Marauder night on Oct. 2. This year, they honored seventh grader Chelsey Reichenberger. Her older sister, Caroline Reichenberger, is the manager for the freshman volleyball team. The volleyball program decided to honor Chelsey after learning about her recent battle with cancer.

“It makes me feel just so happy that everyone cares and everyone just doesn’t avoid hearing about it,” Chelsey said.

Last July, Chelsey was diagnosed with dysgerminoma, a type of germ cell cancer that occurs in the abdomen. After discovering that Chelsey had a cancerous tumor, she was informed that she was going to have to have immediate surgery to remove it. “It was just a mixture of emotions,” Chelsey’s mom, Sherry Reichenberger, said. “Knowing what she will go through…it’s absolutely heartbreaking.”

Chelsey’s just that ordinary kid who got sick and these people are here sharing her joy and sharing her journey.”

— - Sherry Reichenberger, Chelsey’s Mom

As Chelsey’s condition progressed, she went from having standard yearly doctor’s visits to going every Thursday. Her family found it hard to watch the youngest daughter go through what they say is one of the hardest things a person can experience. Caroline remembers moments when Chelsey was in chemotherapy and she thought she was losing her little sister.

“Our life just turned within two days,” Sherry said. “She’s the baby of the family so she’s always been close to me.”

While Chelsey was going through chemotherapy, she experienced intense pain and nausea, to the point that every time she lifted her head she vomited. She also faced great amounts of fatigue, as well as easy bruising and hair loss. However, her condition began to improve after a few months.

Varsity volleyball surrounds Chelsey Reichenberger and her family as she receives the Heart of a Marauder award. This award has been given out since 2011 to members of the Marcus community who have been diagnosed with cancer, starting with “Lydia’s Fight Night” in honor of teacher Jesse Hood’s daughter.

The Thursday following the Heart of a Marauder event, Chelsey and her family found out that she was cancer-free.

“[It was] surreal,” Sherry said. “It was probably the best moment of my life.”

Heart of a Marauder started with U.S. history teacher Jesse Hood’s daughter Lydia in 2011. She was the honoree of the program for its first few years until she went into remission.
Then, the program extended to other members of the Marcus family who were going through or recovering from cancer. The program’s purpose is to raise money to help the family of the patient pay off their medical bills from treatment.

Volleyball collected $1 donations at the game in the form of red, heart-shaped cards that were placed on the wall of the MAC. Chelsey’s older sisters, Caroline and Kaitlyn are members of AVID, so AVID also participated by selling yellow t-shirts for $15 to students, teachers and even middle school students.
After the AVID shirt sales and the donations made during the event, volleyball will have raised about $4,000 for the Reichenberger family. Chelsey and her family describe the outpouring of affection from the community as amazing and inspiring.

“You look up and you could just see all the yellow shirts,” Sherry said. “Chelsey’s just that ordinary kid who got sick and these people are here sharing her joy and sharing her journey.”
Junior Riley Vaughn is on the varsity volleyball team and helped with the donations. She said that the event helps give the students a better perspective on hardships and what some people have to experience. She said that learning about Chelsey and her story will helps other kids realize how lucky they are.

“A lot of kids take what they have for granted,” Vaughn said. “To see somebody else going through so much pain and so much struggle that a lot of people in Flower Mound don’t face is kind of an eye opener to just be grateful for everything we have.”

Coach Danielle Barker uses the Heart of a Marauder event as a learning experience for her players. She said that having the team see the struggles that others are going through and trying to make a difference is one of the greatest lessons the players can learn—the art of giving back.

“It feels good knowing that I’m not just a volleyball coach,” Barker said. “I have a hand in teaching our athletes to look beyond just themselves.”
Chelsey’s condition has continued to improve since the event. On Oct. 16, Chelsey underwent another final surgery to remove her chemotherapy port. Her mother describes this surgery as something to look forward to rather than a sad or fearful event.

“It’s a milestone,” Sherry said. “When the port is taken out, in my mind, it cleanses the cancer away. This is the surgery every cancer patient wants to have.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Alex Anderson, Feature/News Editor

Hi, my name is Alex Anderson, and I am a senior this year, and this is my second year on staff as a writer. I love film and film journalism, so I plan...

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




*

Navigate Left
  • Volleyball honors young cancer survivor

    Feature

    Doodles to digital

  • Volleyball honors young cancer survivor

    Feature

    A Race Against Time

  • Feature

    A campus divided

  • Feature

    On our way

  • Volleyball honors young cancer survivor

    Feature

    The Ultimate Birthday Bash

  • Volleyball honors young cancer survivor

    Feature

    From legacy to leader

  • Volleyball honors young cancer survivor

    Feature

    Cleanups for a cause

  • Volleyball honors young cancer survivor

    Feature

    A lifelong adventure

  • Volleyball honors young cancer survivor

    Feature

    Going for gold

  • Volleyball honors young cancer survivor

    Feature

    Living their dream in the “Big Apple”

Navigate Right
Marcus High School's Online Publication
Volleyball honors young cancer survivor