Saskatoon lacrosse community teams up with local girl’s cancer fundraiser
When Naomi Lendvay was only six years old, she was diagnosed with a rare cancer.
“We had been in the room when the oncologist team told us she probably wasn’t going to make it,” Naomi’s mother Vanessa Lendvay said.
Today at nine years old, Naomi is defying the odds.
During treatment, Naomi’s parents decided to start a foundation to help support pediatric cancer research.
“It started with ‘Team Naomi Get Well Soon,’ but then I said, ‘Why is it soon? I want to get well now,'” Naomi said.
Team Naomi Get Well Now Foundation (TNGWN) started out with golf tournaments and a cookbook to help raise funds.
“She had a particularly funny conversation with her oncologist. She was eight at the time, [and] he asked her, ‘How do you feel about cancer?’ She said, ‘F-bomb cancer,'” Vanessa explained.
That conversation sparked the idea for the family’s third fundraising initiative: Team Naomi socks. They’ve sold 2,000 pairs since starting last September.
It was easy to spot a pair of Team Naomi socks at this weekend’s 4-on-4 lacrosse tournament at the Henk Ruys Soccer Centre in Saskatoon.
“One of the cool things about lacrosse is we all wear uniforms but probably the most individual thing a kid gets to wear on the floor is socks, so it ties in really nicely with us doing the Team Naomi Get Well Now socks,” said Neil Hruska, director of fundraising for the SWAT lacrosse program.
The tournament brought together 25 teams from across the province. The top teams were awarded a set of Team Naomi socks.
“The least we can do when we see healthy children playing sports is [to] give back,” Hruska said.
Some Saskatchewan Rush players are even on board. Players like Chris Corbiel and Evan Kirk have suited up wearing the socks.
Jeremy Thompson not only sports the socks, but reps TNGWN with stickers on his helmet.
Naomi has been cancer-free since June 2017, but the family said they have no plans of slowing down on raising awareness.
“Funding pediatric cancer research, we live it, we breathe it,” Vanessa said.
In their first year and a half of fundraising, TNGWN has raised $140,000 for the Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute and Childhood Cancer Canada’s 100% Fund.
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