Softball teams rallies around toddler battling cancer

Danielle Thompson, Sports Editor

Firetrucks and police cars from the Vine Grove Fire Department and the Radcliff Police Department escorted Tenley Ward to the North Hardin softball complex on April 22.

Tenley is the three-year-old niece of North Hardin counselor Teri-Lynn Dandy and she is battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a rare form of childhood cancer.

The Lady Trojans and the Fort Knox Lady Eagles softball team lined up to welcome the three-year-old and her family as they came into an event that was solely for her. The community, North Hardin, and the softball program immediately rallied behind the idea of changing the Annual Pink Out to an event for Tenley.

“For any event to be a success, it’s important to have the support of everyone involved,” Head Coach Jessica Gunby. “Words can’t express how thankful I was to see the immediate support of the community and the entire softball program. I am so grateful for all of the parents, players, and community members who worked tirelessly to make sure that Tenley and her family received the support that they undoubtedly deserved.”

The players said they also loved the idea and felt great playing for something bigger than the game of softball.

Junior pitcher Graysen Lowery said, “I honestly loved it. I loved playing for her and showing her who all she has behind her. No one, especially a three-year-old, should have to go through what she does. It was almost like we were playing a different game. We played even harder because we had a reason.”

Ms. Dandy said her and her family appreciated the support more than they could describe with words and at the end of the game they were presented with a $5,000 check. This will help the Ward family cover the expensive treatments that Tenley has to undergo. Even though the treatments are intense, Tenley has been fighting like a champ.

When asked what the Orange Out meant to Tenley and her family, Ms. Dandy said, “This event has shown our family that there are still people out there that will do good for others. I am so thankful we live in a community that reaches out to support those in need. As for me and my family, you have left a lasting impression that will be remembered forever. For Tenley, you made her smile, you made at least one day brighter and more bearable. Thank you for standing with Tenley while she endures this. She is the storm! And with all of us behind her, she will be the biggest storm!”