When SouthLake Christian student Victoria Ballard heard that her coach’s wife had been diagnosed with cancer, she decided to do more than just commiserate.
Ballard has been the driving force behind the Team Trina 5K and fun run, a fundraising road race and fun run scheduled for Oct. 17 at the Huntersville private school.
Proceeds from the event will benefit Trina Law – the wife of South Lake Christian’s dean of students and cross country/track coach Donovan Law – who is undergoing treatment for Stage IV cancer in her back.
“I didn’t want to sit around and just do nothing,” said Ballard, a junior at SouthLake Christian. “She means a lot to me, and I wanted to do something to help cover medical costs and stuff like that.”
This is the second time Trina Law has battled the disease.
In February 2014, she was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer, and underwent a series of operations, chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
“I thought I had it beat,” Trina Law said. “I was back to working out, and working out hard. But the only thing that was different was that I had a backache. It wasn’t going away with yoga or stretching. So I talked to my oncologist, and he ordered one test, then a slew of tests.
“His nurse eventually called me and said ‘the doctor wants to see you.’ Then she called me back a couple minutes later and said he wanted to see me the next day, then she called back and said ‘he wants to see you today.’ I just said, ‘you need to tell me yes or no, is it back?’ She said ‘yes.’
“It was like a sucker punch to the gut. It’s been a blur since then.”
The diagnosis in mid-June, cancer in the vertebrae of Law’s middle and lower back, has put her back on another series of radiation and chemotherapy treatments, including some very new – and very expensive – treatments.
“I’m on a drug that’s fairly new,” Law said. “If I didn’t have insurance, it’d be over $11,000 a month for 21 pills. It’s the only drug out there that works with estrogen-positive cancer that has metastasized.”
It’s those costs, and the ones not covered by insurance, that led Ballard and others among SouthLake Christian’s student body to do something. For example, the school’s volleyball team held a “Dig Pink” game against Concord First Assembly on Sept. 8.
“A lot of people want to help out,” Ballard said. “When I first sent out the email to the school, I got a bunch of emails, from people I knew and people I didn’t know. I was really taken aback, surprised and amazed at how many people wanted to help the Law family.”
So were the Laws.
“It seems like (Ballard has) put a lot of thought into it, and is passionate about it,” said Donovan Law, who has been a teacher and administrator at SouthLake Christian for three years. “It kinda blew us away.”
Trina Law said, “Words just don’t come. That people would do something for ordinary people like us, it’s just …It’s really remarkable. It’s not just the students, it’s their families, and families of families. It’s people we know and people we don’t even know. It’s truly remarkable that they are willing to help someone they don’t even know personally.”
Bill Kiser is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.