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Buckets for Brain Cancer: Basketball team scores big for charity

In an initiative driven by compassion and a desire to make a difference beyond the basketball court, “Buckets for Brain Cancer” was something that was brainstormed at practice.

NORQUAY — In an initiative driven by compassion and a desire to make a difference beyond the basketball court, coaches Stacy Rubletz and Jennifer Lindgren encouraged their senior girls basketball team, the Norquay North Stars, to choose a charitable cause to participate in with the community.

“We wanted them to get involved with the community and be a part of something that is bigger than basketball," Lindgren said. "When their friend was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour they knew this was the initiative they wanted to be a part of."

“Buckets for Brain Cancer was something that was brainstormed at practice. The girls designed a logo and were challenged to join together with the other teams attending our home tournament to raise funds for Brain Cancer Canada research, specifically DIPG (diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas), a brain tumour that is found at the brainstem and affects muscles and senses in the face).

“At the tournament, all teams would score ‘Buckets for Brain Cancer’  a way to bring everyone together,” continued Lindgren. "It's a powerful thing, watching all the teams cheering each other on. We scored over 350 buckets for brain cancer research during our first game. This initiative will continue for the basketball season, and we’ll be selling T-shirts to continue to raise more funds. We continue to challenge other basketball teams to join us and continue to help us raise money for brain cancer research.”

At the tournament on Dec. 9, the air was electric as teams cheered each other on, exhilarating the competitive spirit to focus on the shared goal of scoring “Buckets” for brain cancer. Five teams came to the tournament, the Norquay North Stars sporting buckets for brain cancer shirts, the Kamsack Spartans, the Canora Cobras, the Hudson Bay Kodiaks, and the Melville Riders.

The event featured a special guest, Cheyanne Peterson, who shared her battle with an inoperable brain tumour.

“Hello everyone, I just wanted to start off by saying thank you all so much for coming to Buckets for Brain Cancer. When my family and I was told about it, it really hit home. You’re all so amazing, thank you.

“Alright, so I know everyone wants to get back in the court, so I’ll make this short. My name is Cheyanne. And last month I was given the life-changing news that I had an inoperable brain tumour. I want to say something to everyone here, live in the moment. Don't put off to tomorrow what you can do today and do the things you love.”

Peterson and her supportive friends, Summer Johnson, Jalin Soltys, and Alexis Lindgren, paused for a moment, laughing anxiously before continuing. Peterson said,

“I have so many plans for my future like have kids, get married, have my dream house, and so on. And I found out that I may never be able to experience those things. It sucks having something so important to you taken away like that. So don't take life for granted. Life is too short. For your moms, your dads, and your siblings, never stop saying I love you because you don't know when it will be your last. Thank you and good luck to everyone.”

As the event came to a close Norquay Coach Jennifer Lindgren expressed gratitude for the support of the community, mentioning that the funds raised had already reached an impressive $4,000.