KICK LEUK: The name, the origin, the meaning
In 2010, our family was like any other family. The daily hustle and bustle was routine as we raised our three children — two teenagers and one tween. Let’s add a dog into the mix too. It was a life of running around to sporting events, practices, games, birthday parties, dances, and everything else that came across our path! We dined out with friends when we could on the weekends and took family vacations each summer. We lived in what we could call controlled chaos with a family of five. Bob and I were the chauffeurs, the cooks, the laundry service, the “clean your room” naggers, the lecturers of why you shouldn’t save projects until the last minute, and the enforcers of please and thank you! We were pretty much like any other family until we received that one phone call. It was just one simple phone call bearing horrific news that changed all of the above. Carly had leukemia.
The news of Carly’s diagnosis destroyed us. After barely digesting the news that our daughter had cancer, we then had the task of telling our family and friends. Putting the words “leukemia” and “Carly” in the same sentence was unbearable. Our emotions were on overdrive. I could not get the word leukemia past my lips.
From the moment of diagnosis, Carly was full of hope and had a positive attitude. We took our cues from her and began our fight against “Leuk”! The word leukemia seemed so scary, evil, and uncertain to us. For some reason shortening it to Leuk seemed to personify the word. It made our fight seem more “doable.” We thought of Leuk as the evil bastard, the monster, the horrible thing that sunk its fangs into our daughter. We would write things on her whiteboard in her hospital room like “You’re going down Leuk” & “Game on Leuk.” With each chemo round that was completed, we would report back to our family and friends: Carly – “1” & Leuk -”0” the number for Carly rising each time she successfully completed another round. Sounds crazy? You would be surprised what you would do if your kid is diagnosed with cancer and you have absolutely no control over it. The answer is: YOU WOULD DO ANYTHING!
Our three children have played many different sports throughout their youth, but soccer has always prevailed to be the most dominant one in their lives. Carly played throughout her childhood and as a high school freshman in the spring of 2010. In July of 2010 she was diagnosed with AML. Once word of her diagnosis started to circulate around our community, the amazing support for Carly and for our family began. Her soccer team began to sell orange silicone wristbands (orange is the color designated for leukemia awareness) and multiple fundraisers were held.
In the fall of 2010, the boys’ high school soccer season began. Carly’s older brother, Robert (#21), was one of the captains of the team. On October 7, 2010, the soccer booster clubs organized a night of leukemia awareness and support for Carly and our family during the boys’ game scheduled against their rival, Christopher Dock. The colors of the boys uniforms were changed from blue to orange to show support for Carly and for leukemia awareness. Amazing things happened after that night; the team donned those uniforms for every game thereafter. Fans wore orange to every game. It was a beautiful sea of orange. Miraculously, Carly was able to make it to all of their games in between her treatments and soon became their lucky charm. The New Hope-Solebury boys worked their way through the season winning districts and eventually becoming the state champions! They were the first team in any sport in New Hope-Solebury history to bring home a state championship for the school. Click here to read the beautiful story of ‘’The Kick Leuk for Carly Night” written by Evan Kravitz from EPYSA/Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Sports Assoc. You can also Click here to watch a wonderful video put to music of the Kick Leuk Night that was lovingly done by a friend and fellow classmate, Seamus Foster.