Troy University Teammates Raise Awareness about Cancer

By: WTVY News 4
By: WTVY News 4

Attn: Women's Soccer #PROJECT19
5000 Veterans Stadium Drive
Troy, AL 36082

CHECKS: "Troy University Foundation" with "#PROJECT19" in the memo line

Troy, AL - Kailani Decock was ready to start her senior year at Troy University in the classroom and on the soccer field.

“She’s quiet. Got her job done. Competed daily. Never complained,” said Troy University Women’s Soccer coach Chris Bentley.

Kailani was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma this summer. Although it stopped her on the field, it hasn't dampened her spirit.

“She’s looking for the positive in every single circumstance,” said Bentley.

When her teammates found out about Kailani’s condition they wanted to help.

“The ideas just started going up and up and up, “said sophomore soccer player Louise Cheng.

That’s how “Project 19” was born.

Bentley said, “We knew more could be done if we involved not just the soccer program.”

The Trojan Nation is joining in. Athletes, Greeks, and other student groups are wearing purple bracelets, holding fundraisers, and above all raising awareness so people like Kailani are never alone.

“I know for me, I don’t know Kailani that well, but seeing how the team has come together for her. I think other people are seeing how passionate the team is about this, and they just want to join in on something big,” said freshman soccer player Sarah Sheffield.

“I think you never know how strong you are until being strong is the only option. As a group we stay together as a family. As people are getting more involved now, the family has grown across campus. Not just in Troy. There are people in England and Canada that want to get involved. All across the world,” said Cheng.

That support is making a profound impact. Thousands of dollars have been raised to offset costs for Kailani’s treatment. She’s more than halfway through, and her attitude is unwavering.

“She’s going through some of the toughest times you can go through as a cancer patient. She’s strong. She’s confident. She empowers me every day,” said Bentley.

On the soccer field, the Troy University Women's soccer team works together to defeat their competitors. That teamwork mentality has spilled off the field and has spurred a campus wide movement called ‘Project 19’.

The fundraiser began as a bracelet sale to raise money for teammate Kailani Decock’s fight against cancer, but now, the fundraiser has turned into something larger.

WTVY traveled to the University on Tuesday and spoke to teammates and players about ‘Project 19’. Tune in to News 4 tonight for a full report.

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