Local high school rallies to fight cancer

Christian Academy field hockey team honors child cancer survivors, gives back

While planning the inaugural Christian Academy of Louisville Centurion Classic Field Hockey Tournament this year, the CAL field hockey family — players, coaches and parents — committed to giving a portion of the tournament’s profits to a local charity that holds special significance to the team.

The team selected the emerging Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program at Norton Children’s Hospital in honor of two seniors on its’ varsity field hockey squad who are cancer survivors: Laurel Dortch and Jana Robey. The team also wanted to honor Head Coach Stanley Phulpagar, who is a cancer survivor himself.

Dortch and Robey had been cared for in Norton Children’s Hospital’s Addison Jo Blair Cancer Care Center. They know what an impact a cancer program just for adolescents and young adults can have on their community.

Adolescents and young adults with cancer don’t fit the current “pediatric” or “adult” health care molds. As a result, they find themselves in a void without the advantage of leading-edge research gains or age-appropriate resources and support.

The goal of the adolescent and young adult cancer care unit at Norton Children’s Hospital will be for patients between ages 14 and 30 to receive the best available individualized care that addresses physical, psychological, social and emotional needs along their entire cancer journey — from diagnosis to treatment, remission and survivorship.

The new unit will be a dedicated space specifically for teens and young adults. It will feature a lounge area, a quiet room for meditation and three patient rooms equipped with updated technology and amenities specifically for teenagers. This will be the first hospital space of its kind in the region and is part of Norton Healthcare’s vision to be a leader in cancer care and research for teenagers and young adults.

The inaugural Christian Academy of Louisville Centurion Classic Field Hockey Tournament raised more than $1,000 this year.

“The CAL field hockey family and the CAL Centurion Classic humbly offer our gratitude to everyone who helped make this year’s event a success and enabled us to make this donation,” said Cheryl Dortch, one of the event’s organizers and mother of Laurel Dortch. “It is our sincere prayer that one day, a cure for cancer will make special care units unnecessary; but until that day, the CAL field hockey family is honored to be able to lend our support to the adolescent and young adult cancer care unit.”

For more information on cancer care for teens and young adults at Norton Children’s Hospital or to contribute to the program, call (502) 629-8060.