A thick cloud of tension lingers Friday nights during a normal football game between New York teams Bolivar-Richburg and Cuba-Rushford. That’s because these two high schools have a huge rivalry.
“Sometimes, you see a few extra police officers here — that’s how big this rivalry is,” said Don Sturdevant, a parent.
But for one Friday night on October 6, 2017, the two rival teams came together for Don’s daughter, Heidi.
Heidi is a cheerleader for Bolivar-Richburg who was diagnosed with cancer in July. It was stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The diagnosis came just one month before the cheerleader turned 16.
“It’s sort of a friendly matchup, and letting these kids know that it doesn’t matter what school you’re from, what your colors are, sometimes in life, everybody is going to face adversity and have to battle something,” said Corine Bump, a family friend.
The two football teams even walked side by side and hand-delivered flowers as a surprise for Heidi.
“It is really overwhelming, but it’s support and I’m thankful for it,” she said. Heidi is going for chemotherapy and will be needing radiation soon.
She may be going through a hard time, but the support of friends and rivals gives her that much more strength to get through it.
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Footage provided by WKBW Buffalo
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