PENFIELD, N.Y. (WROC) — It was World Lymphoma Awareness Day on Wednesday, September 15th, a day that has special meaning for the Penfield girls soccer team.
One of their own, junior defender Paige Marino, was diagnosed with Stage IV Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in April.
Today the team was playing for Paige, who was there cheering them on from the sidelines, in their game against Mendon.
“The support that has been around us for the last six months since Paige’s diagnosis has been really incredible,” said Esther Marino, Paige’s mother. “But a day like today, on World Lymphoma Awareness Day, to have her soccer team, coaches, school, community, and so many people out here supporting her really means a lot.”
“People always ask what they can do to help and how they can support and this is a perfect example,” said Jon Marino, Paige’s father. “There’s nothing we need right at this moment. But just seeing Paige able to be here, being able to be around her teammates and all these people supporting and bringing some awareness to the cause.”
Paige is an honor student who is also on the competitive cheerleading team.
Her parents say her teammates have been very supportive, lifting her spirits with visits to the hospital as she undergoes chemotherapy, surgeries, blood transfusions, and other treatments.
“She just keeps fighting. She is a competitor, she always has been on the field and we knew from the start that she would have to bring that competitive spirit to this fight against cancer,” said Esther Marino. “It’s been hard but she’s doing it.”
“We can’t change anything but we can take it head-on and hopefully learn from this opportunity,” said Jon Marino. “Maybe this is a life-long lesson for Paige when she makes it through this and can do all these, it kind of sets herself up for the rest of her life.”
Penfield ended up getting Paige a win on her special day, defeating Mendon 2-1 with a game-winning goal in overtime.