Sky Campbell won't be able to attend a fundraiser organized to help her family defray some of the out-of-pocket expenses for her cancer treatment on Saturday, April 13.
Instead, the 14-year-old West Towson resident will be undergoing chemotherapy treatment — her seventh round of the cancer-fighting drug since being diagnosed with primary mediastinal b-cell lymphoma, a form of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, on Dec. 3, 2012 — at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Having played five years in various age groups for Kelly Post girls lacrosse, Sky was excited about trying out for the Towson High team in her freshman year.
That's why the school's players will run a clinic for area kids participating in the Kelly Post and Towsontowne rec programs at what is being billed as Lax 'n Love, which will be held on the Towson High stadium field from 4 p.m.-6 p.m.
The clinic is free, but donations of $10 or more are strongly encouraged at Lax 'n Love, which is sponsored by Kelly Post Lacrosse and the Towson High Sports Boosters Association.
Participants will play fun games, win prizes, watch a demonstration by Towson High players and learn stick skills before adjourning to Rita's for Italian ice, compliments of owners Tom and Carol Morgan.
Meanwhile, many area youth players are wearing Ravens-purple shoestrings and ribbons — Sky's favorite color — in her honor this season. Some are raising money by getting pledges for goals scored.
So far, $1,000 has been raised on behalf of Sky, who continues to respond well to the chemotherapy treatments.
Sky's mother, Anna Boyle, said that a massive tumor, "the size of a grapefruit," in the teen's chest has been reduced by 65 percent.
"It was putting pressure on her heart, lungs and air passage," Boyle said about the tumor. "It grew so quickly in just a couple of months. Because it's such an aggressive cancer, the doctors have been just as aggressive in treating it."
That's why Sky has been hospital-free for more than five days only once since her diagnosis.
Yet her mother said that Sky is handling her battle with the disease like a warrior.
"She's incredibly positive," Boyle said. "It's amazing how resilient she is."
A long list of local friends, neighbors and teammates' families, topped by Towson Rec Council president Jennifer Bolster, TRC secretary Gale Della Santina and Kelly Post girls lacrosse coaches Sissy Woodard and Vince Bagli, have joined forces to help Sky's family with meals and the comfort of knowing an entire community is in their corner.
"Sissy's daughter, Caroline Friedman, and Vince's daughter, Molly, were (Kelly Post) teammates with Sky," said Della Santina. "They had the team distribution list, and started contacting people on the team to help out with meals for Sky's family."
Boyle said it's "unbelievable how wonderful everyone has been to us. With me having to focus on Sky, and helping her through some of the pain and illness, the food chain was invaluable for us."
Donation are welcome on the day of the clinic, by cash or checks payable to TRC – Sky Campbell. Or checks may be mailed to TRC – Sky at 300 Dumbarton Rd. Baltimore, MD 21212. Registration to hold a spot for the clinic is available on the Kelly Post website.