In July of this year, 6-year-old Ellie Porter was diagnosed with cancer. Having a
sarcoma of the kidney, Ellie is enduring treatment to battle the cancer.
Weber State University students Keoni Dellerman, Audrey Halveson, Jenna Stoker and Kevin Kennington have been working for the past few months to plan an event to help Ellie and her family out during this time, and they have decided on a dodgeball tournament.
“We tried to think of something fun to do that everyone would enjoy,” Dellerman said. “It isn’t an everyday thing, and we thought people would enjoy playing it.”
For their class, Small Group Interpersonal Communications, the students are to do nine hours of community service, including a small project.
“We tried to think of something helpful and useful,” Dellerman said.
The students, who were also classmates in high school, remembered their classmate whose brother was going through cancer treatment.
“Everone was wearing F2TF shirts,” Dellerman said. “It means ‘fight to the finish.’ Everyone was wearing the shirts and sweaters, and it was a big thing.”
From this memory, the students decided to help somebody with cancer. Through some inquiries and contacts from The Giving Tree, the group found Ellie and set out to help her and her family.
“The Giving Tree receives cancer patient names from Primary Children’s, and they suggested Ellie,” Dellerman said.
The group has received donations to raffle off at the event and will provide food from The Sweet Tooth Fairy and Smith’s.
The group hopes to have several teams of six sign up to participate in the dodgeball tournament.
“At the tournament, there will be six people to a team, and it’s going to be a double elimination,” Stoker said.
Jami Porter, Ellie’s mother, said she thinks it is good that the event will bring awareness to others, but Ellie may be too sick to attend the event.
“Hopefully me and my husband, if not one of us, will be there with the kids,” Porter said. “Ellie’s immune system will be weak. We might have to keep her away, but hopefully she can make it.”
Dellerman said participation in the tournament costs $50 per team. He also encouraged individuals to sign up as singles if they don’t have a team.
“If you don’t have a team but want to play or help, then it is $10 per person, and we will find you a team.”