LYNCHBURG, Va. – As the Hilltoppers head to the field on Friday, they will be playing for something much bigger than just a win.
E.C. Glass’ ‘Pink Game’ is an opportunity for the team and the Lynchburg community to come out and raise awareness for breast cancer.
For $100, each sponsor can pick a player’s number to have them honor either a survivor or someone who has passed away from breast cancer.
Leecy Fink was diagnosed with stage-three breast cancer in 2013. The cancer eventually made its way into her brain but she continued to fight.
However, her fight wouldn’t stop there. In fact, Fink’s life has continued to be a fight. She and her family lost their home in 2018 during a tornado that ripped through parts of Lynchburg and Campbell County.
Tomorrow will be Fink’s first ‘Pink Game’.
“I just think it’s beautiful that they are actually taking that onto the field and saying something to make a difference and I’m not just going to play the game but I’m going to play it for these people who have fought cancer,” Fink said.
Fink met with her player, Cyntonio Saunders, on Wednesday evening for the Pink Game Dinner. This is a chance for the players to meet some of the people they will be playing for come Friday night.
Saunders and Fink clicked immediately.
“She is a cancer survivor so I wouldn’t say, it couldn’t compare to football injuries … it couldn’t. I’m giving my honest opinion,” Saunders said.
The donations from sponsors and t-shirts sold will all go to the Awareness Garden. The garden is just down the road from E.C. Glass High School and it’s another way of honoring the lives of people who have passed or still fighting cancer.
Awareness Garden Board Member, Kay Vaughan, ‘bleeds blue’ as she puts it. She graduated from E.C. Glass, taught at the school, and makes sure to be up in the stands when her boys take the field.
If you ever find yourself on the E.C. Glass practice field, in one corner is a blue bench dedicated to the life of J.P., Vaughan’s husband who had skin cancer.
“The night he died, that was one of the things he told me. Make sure the pink game continues to be a tradition,” Vaughan said.
It’s a tradition paving the way for lifelong relationships to be made. Fink is planning on getting Saunders his first prom tuxedo in the spring.
“She’s special to me. Even though I just met her … she’s special to me … honestly, just very special,” Saunders said.
The Pink Game will be on Oct. 14 when E.C. Glass takes on Jefferson Forest.
Tune in to 10 News at 11:10 Friday night for final scores here.