Beaton has a friend who has been fighting breast cancer for the past 15 years, an athlete whose mother is battling breast cancer and an athlete whose aunt passed away from the disease recently. She says there truly is no one who hasn’t been touched by this disease one way or another and wishes that the energy that is brought to the cause in the month of October could continue for the rest of the year.
“It’s really important that we continue to fight this fight,” says Beaton. “We need all hands on deck. The more people who realize how pervasive it is, the better. It’s scary how everybody knows someone who has had it.”
Hefferan was diagnosed a month before last year’s game, and her future was in doubt. The surgeries and radiation took a toll on the coach and her family, but Hefferan can now look back through a prism of positivity.
“I feel I’m on the other side,” says Hefferan.
Now Hefferan wants to keep that spirit of going forward by showing her team that a community can help, as it did for her.
“Getting these young kids to realize that they can do a lot to help somebody else’s life,” Hefferan says, is the best lesson she can give.
“We’re trying to teach girls to take care of themselves,” adds Beaton. “If it’s a little bit, every little bit helps.”
The game itself, a Pentucket home game, will be played at the Amesbury Sports Park, possibly at 7 p.m. with the EEE ban likely rescinded in time. Donations will be collected at the game, and items will be on sale.
“It’s exciting,” Hefferan says of this year’s game. “I’m thrilled to be playing against Ruth because of all the support she gave me. I feel that there was a lot of fear last year. This year, it’s about the strength and the courage and supporting all the other people who are going through it right now.”