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Pink Match Is Personal For SMU Volleyball

Postby PonyPride » Thu Feb 11, 2021 8:55 pm

From SMUMustangs.com:

Pink Match Is Personal For SMU Volleyball
By Alex Riley
Special to SMUMustangs.com

DALLAS – For Lily Heim, this is the norm.

Every time the SMU junior steps on the volleyball court, she is playing to honor those in her family who have battled breast cancer. Both her grandmothers are survivors. Her aunt passed away from the disease.

Her aunt's motto as she battled the illness is now inscribed on a bracelet that sits near her water bottle during matches – make your life count.

"That's kind of how I have tried to model my life after, is just making every single day count," Heim said. "When I go on the court, making that count every single time. They're who I play for now every single match."

Thursday and Friday's Pink Match contests against Houston (3-1) have become a yearly tradition in Dallas that bring breast cancer awareness and fundraising to the forefront. This year, players will don pink jerseys that will be auctioned off to help raise money for the American Cancer Society.

The premise for the event began almost two decades ago when SMU athletic trainer Jeanne Olson was diagnosed with breast cancer.

"It was like, 'OK, we have to do something. I'm going to use this platform and we're going to do something," SMU volleyball coach Lisa Seifert said.

Over the years, the fundraiser event has taken several different names with various ways to donate, but the goal has always been the same – raise money to fight a disease that always seems to hit close to home.

"There's always one or two kids on the team who's mom or grandma has been impacted and it's just amazing to find out how many people have been really touched by it," Seifert said. "It means a lot to them to bring awareness and help raise some money for the fight."

Heim isn't alone in understanding the effects of breast cancer as freshman middle blocker Angel Jones also has a grandmother fighting the ailment.

The Mustangs (4-0) certainly want to perform well and keep their early season momentum going. More than that, they hope to inspire others to keep a strong spirit in the face of adversity and help others along the way.

"(My message to those battling cancer is) you've got it, keep fighting. And one thing my grandma has always said is once you believe there's hope, anything can happen," Jones said.
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