Memorial and Central come together to help girl fight cancer - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Elkhart Memorial & Central come together to help girl fight cancer


Elkhart Central and Memorial are arch-rivals, and each year their football game is super-competitive with the winner earning a year's worth of bragging rights.

This year's game had a little bit different feel. Both schools are coming together to support a Memorial sophomore who is battling a rare form of cancer.

"It's not about Chargers versus Blazers," said Elkhart Central senior Emily Hoeppner. "It's about supporting Sarah Strong."

Just over a month ago 15-year-old Sarah Crane was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer, one of the youngest people ever to have the disease.

Less than two weeks ago the Memorial student started her chemotherapy, but despite being rivals with the Chargers, some kids at Elkhart Central knew they needed to help.

"To accomplish something like this, it takes the whole community. Not just half of it," said Caroline Oakley, a senior at Elkhart Central.

For the last week some girls from Central have been selling special ribbons. The proceeds will help a family and a fellow teenager that most of them have never met.

"We're all teenagers. We understand that we all have things to go through in high school, but this is something that a teenage kid shouldn't have to go through," said Central senior Julie Nolan.

Even though their football teams were getting ready to play one another, several kids from Central still wore purple at their pep rally Friday afternoon. It's the same color Memorial chose to show support for Sarah last week at their scrimmage.

Friday for the first time in a long time, the rival schools didn't mind dressing the same because all of them are cheering for Sarah to get better.

"Just going to do everything that we can to show our support for here and show our support for memorial too," said Nolan. "It's hard for the whole school."

Sarah Strong T-Shirts will be sold at Hoosier Harley Davidson on August 31. They can also be purchased by contacting Sherry Auker, a friend of the Crane's, via email at

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