DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) — Volleyball is easy. Cancer is hard.
Seventh-grader Mia Wenneker knows that well. Her friend and classmate, eighth-grader Brody Heinz, is battling sarcoma.
Wenneker plays volleyball for Holy Family Catholic school. The team's Wednesday night game was dedicated to Brody and his family.
"It gives you strength and also gives you motivation," Mia said. "It gives you a purpose."
But on the other side, the Dennis Lab School volleyball team was also playing for someone — science teacher Phill Winecke is battling lymphoma.
While neither Brody nor Winecke attended the game, the teams played in the spirit of the two.
"We hoped [Winecke] could join us...but we understand he's in treatment," said Dennis coach Tony Holly.
"[Brody's] lovely and wonderful spirit will always be with us," said Holy Family principal Debbie Alexander. "We miss him every day."
The two schools wore ribbons in their hair — yellow for sarcoma, green for lymphoma. They also raffled off volleyball memorabilia, raising $500 for each family through that and ticket sales.
"It's kind of inspiring to be part of a team that's helping another person," Mia said.