Jaguars Tackle Leukemia
EL PASO - A middle school football team tackles a life-threatening illness affecting a local little girl.
The Jaguars of Nolan Richardson Middle School sock it to leukemia in the name of 3-year-old Vivian Herrera.
"We're wearing orange socks."
Eighth-grader Delino Lewis and his teammates dedicated Saturday's game to this little girl who began her big battle with acute lymphoid leukemia in March 2009.
"Vivian, she's always been an inspiration to me. She always kept her hopes up. She had her good days, she had her bad days, but she'd always call me, Delino. She'd always come up to me. I'd help her at her house and stuff. Like, I'd go over to her house, play with her and do all kinds of stuff. So she was always there for me and so I'm always going to be there for her."
A persistent fever led doctors to diagnose Vivian with the cancer. She's completed about half of her more than two year treatment plan.
"You don't know how she hurts and when she hurts, you know, but it's amazing how kids are resilient. We've just had to adjust."
Vivian's mom...Gisela... says although doctors consider her daughter a low-risk patient... her journey with the disease has had many ups and downs.
"When I feel tired or exhausted, I'm thinking she's fighting for her life, her body must feel tired and so we're just grateful and thankful for everyday we have together."
According to the leukemia and lymphoma society... nearly 140,000 Americans will be diagnosed with a blood cancer in 2010.