Football fundraiser helps fight cancer in honor of player’s mother

Posted at 10:31 PM, Oct 15, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-16 02:00:03-04

HOLLADAY, Utah -- Olympus High School dedicated Wednesday night's football game to the mom of an Olympus player, Sandra Lerma, who lost her battle to breast cancer last month.

At halftime, parents, students and players took part in a "miracle minute," collecting pocket change from spectators in the stands. All the donations will go to cancer research at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in honor of the player's mother.

"The little boy's mom who passed, who inspired this is a good friend of mine," said Becky Brown.

Lerma’s son is a sophomore who plays football at Olympus High School. He didn't play in Wednesday night’s game, but the coach and the team wanted to do something special to honor her and support their family.

"The coach wanted to do something to rally around their player and he's very sad, and the family decided they didn't really want the money to go to the family, they wanted it to go to a good cause," said Kathy Howa, who founded Swing for Life 13 years ago when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Now she dedicates her time to raising awareness and money for cancer research.

From bracelets to socks being sold at the stands, all the proceeds will be donated to the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

"It really brings strength to know that they're doing something good, and we'll be donating a brick at the Circle of Hope up at the Huntsman Center in her name to show this game, what it meant to them--and so they can go up there and visit that as a memory stone for the family," Howa said.

"It's amazing,” Brown said. “It's amazing. I was talking to the coach yesterday, and he got a little teary talking to me about it, how wonderful the support has been."

Swing for Life says once the season is over, they want to organize a tour for the Olympus football players and cheerleaders to see the Huntsman Cancer Institute so they can see what they were raising money for. For more information about the institute, visit their website.