MASON, Ohio – “There's got to be a better way.”
That was the mantra of a young Mason woman, Liz Lothrop, who had childhood leukemia. It went into remission with treatment, but the treatment caused a brain tumor.
Liz died from the tumor last May.
Now her mantra has become the mantra of two girls basketball teams, who are using their rivalry to raise money for cancer research.
The inaugural “Live for Liz” basketball game between Mason and Sycamore will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Mason Middle School. Liz had been a basketball player at Mason before going on to study at UC. Her dad teaches at Sycamore.
— Tracey Carson (@traceylcarson) February 10, 2017
“She could not accept the fact that because she had cancer when she was young that treatment she had to save her life gave her cancer when she was 21 again," said Jere Clark, a math teacher at JV basketball coach at Mason.
Clark and Mason basketball players decided to turn the game against Sycamore into a fundraiser in memory of Liz.
Liz’s dad, Randy Lothrop, said the Sycamore students couldn’t be more supportive.
"The kids here at Sycamore have just been so supportive and understanding that what Liz wanted more than anything is she just knew that there had to be a better way," he said.
So the two basketball teams started raising money by selling T-shirts and handmade bracelets. That money will go to CancerFree KIDS, a local organization dedicated to fighting childhood cancer.
"We want to make it bigger throughout the years and this is just the start of it," said Sycamore senior guard Tori Bell.
— Sycamore Schools (@SycamoreSchools) February 10, 2017
Bell said the experience has helped her learn a valuable lesson.
"Just help anyone any chance you get and just live life while you can," Bell said
"For me, the moral of the story is that I know that God has a plan,” Liz’s dad said, “and that in everything that happens in our lives there’s a bigger picture. It really difficult for us to know at the time, but just know that every day is a gift.”
The public is invited to the game. You will be able to buy a T-shirt and donate as well.