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Cousins continue cancer fight

The Wayne school community will unite on Thursday, May 8 to fight cancer.
The Wayne school community will unite on Thursday, May 8 to fight cancer.

The young woman behind it is a cancer survivor and she's helping her cousin, who is battling the disease for a second time.

Cousins Mareesa Boyatzies and Katie Foster have always been close.  That bond was put to the test when they were diagnosed with cancer one day apart in 2011.  We spoke with Katie in May of 2013, who said at the time, "It's kind of good because our hair fell out at the same time and all that kind of stuff, and like I knew somebody who's going through the same things so I could talk to her about it."

Together they went through treatments, found love and support at Camp Good Days and Special Times, and beat cancer.  Then came the news earlier this year that Katie's cancer had returned.  "It was difficult to hear that news because we're so close and I just never thought it would come back and it was hard to hear that," said Mareesa.

Now Mareesa and her friends at Wayne Senior High School are organizing a fundraiser to help Katie and Camp Good Days.  On May 8 three lacrosse games will be held at the high school, along with a silent auction and raffle.  "I think that it's like a really great cause and if people were to come out and support it, it really shows how great this community can be," said Wayne Senior High School junior Baylee Saba.

A year ago, a similar fundraiser was organized for fellow Wayne classmate Kyle Savary.  Kyle lost his battle with cancer last fall.  This year's fundraiser will be dedicated to the classmate who died too soon.  "It's something that makes you grow up and realize that there's more to life than little high school things," said Wayne Senior High School junior Kayle Freischlag.

Mareesa knows her cousin Katie will need lots of support as she takes on cancer again, but there's reason for optimism.  "She honestly is doing so great right now," said Mareesa.  "She just had her first dose of chemo and she wasn't sick at all during it, she was just the same girl."

Thursday's fundraiser will include the Wayne JV and Varsity girls lacrosse teams, as well as the boys team.  The games will begin at 4:30 and all are welcome.
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