High school football team inspired by little girl's battle with cancer
A five-year-old leukemia patient has captured the hearts of an entire football team from Riverview, N.B.
Chloe Davis was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia 14 months ago. Her mother, Elizabeth Davis, teaches English at Riverview High School and when the school’s football team learned about Chloe’s illness, they decided to hold a bottle drive to help the family.
Soon, the little girl could be seen at every game, watching the Riverview Royals, or ‘the stinky boys’ as she likes to call them.
“We were playing for something that was more than just ourselves and the guy beside you and more than the community,” says player Justin Cormier. “We were playing to bring hope to someone and to a place where there’s not much hope to be had.”
Chloe became the team’s inspiration and good luck charm, propelling them to the provincial final.
The team lost the game in overtime, but Chloe lifted the players’ spirits after the game.
“Honestly, I didn’t want to turn to my mom, I didn’t want to turn to my grandma, I wanted to turn to her because that’s where my emotions lied all season,” says Cormier.
Chloe’s mom says, even though the team walked away with a silver medal, the players all have hearts of gold. One player even gave his medal to Chloe for Valentine’s Day.
This past weekend, some team members and other students competed for Chloe once again, this time in Dragon Boat races. The team raised the most money for a high school and won the race by a landslide.
“I told them to imagine as they’re looking down the lake to the finish line, I want you to imagine that every time you reach and pull that, you’re pulling Chloe to her finish line and leaving cancer in its wake,” says Elizabeth Davis.
The team wore Chloe’s jersey, #15. The number represents 2015, when Chloe is expected to finish her chemotherapy treatments.
“Once we won we came back, we all just took a moment. We saw Chloe standing up there and we all started cheering for Chloe and she loved it,” says player Kyle McCluskey.
“There are some things that can’t be taught or learned from a textbook,” says Davis. “Things like giving back to others and generosity and integrity, and these boys exemplify that.”
With files from CTV Atlantic's Sarah Plowman