Northridge duo looks to LAX out childhood cancer - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Northridge duo looks to LAX out childhood cancer

High school teammates can easily turn into life-long friends, but for two local lacrosse players, the bond they share is much deeper than wearing the same uniform.

On game days, Northridge JV lacrosse players Sam Grewe and Eric Wentworth, get a few hours where they can forget about everything else in their lives.

 "I use [lacrosse] to just get away," said Wentworth, a sophomore at Northridge.

When they're on the field together, Grewe and Wentworth can take on an opponent they can actually see. However once they leave, it's back to a fight that would be a nightmare for most families.

Both boys are witnesses to the harsh realities of childhood cancer.

"Seeing it an adult level is bad enough," said Northridge lacrosse coach Gregg Eash. "But seeing it effect young kids, innocent kids, is really tough."

For Grewe, the battle against cancer is very personal. The Raiders freshman lost part of his leg to osteosarcoma two years ago and to this day has to be reminded of that every time he puts on his prosthetic leg.

"I was sick. I was in the hospital for little over a half of a year and I mean it was just sickening," said Grewe.

Fortunately, Grewe's treatments ended over a year ago and now he's back to doing something he loves; playing lacrosse.

"I've been through the worst, so this is just all fun to me now," said Grewe. "I realize it's just a game. I'm a lot less hard on myself now that I know what it's like."

For Wentworth's family though, the fight is ongoing. His step brother Cameron, who was also diagnosed with osteosarcoma, is currently undergoing chemotherapy on a regular basis in Indianapolis.

Thankfully for Wentworth, he has a teammate, who understands what his family is going through.

"It's pretty crazy," said Wentworth. "I never thought that it'd happen to Sam, one of my best friends, and my step brother."

Wentworth said Grewe has been a big help to relieve him of the worry he feels when Cameron goes into treatment. Grewe reminds Wentworth, even though times are tough, they will likely get better as the chemotherapy continues.

"It's a real special relationship," said Grewe. "Everyone knows we're all going through tough times, but we're all real close. We know its not easy, but we'll get through it."

The two teammates have bonded over something that no high school kid should ever have to deal with. But together they have taken their misfortune to help create an effort to raise awareness of childhood cancer in their small community of Middlebury. The two were a big part of the team organizing an event called "LAX Out Childhood Cancer."

"Anyone can raise awareness, but if you actually have a face to put it to, someone to compare, and you can see them get through it, it's a lot easier," said Grewe.

While the Raiders will continue to try and win on the lacrosse field this season, their efforts to fight cancer off the field, are something they are hoping will continue for years to come.

"I think it's a good thing to let people know it's everywhere and it can happen to you," said Wentworth.

The team hopes to continue the "LAX Out Childhood Cancer" event next season by bringing even more teams in to be a part of it. Money was raised for to help fight childhood cancer.
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