Valley Lutheran Community Supports Teens Fighting Cancer

SAGINAW TWP., Mich. (WNEM) The Valley Lutheran community rallies around one of them as they continue to fight cancer.

On Monday night, every member of the boys’ soccer team wore orange socks during their game against Saginaw Nouvel in support of Jack Koltevedt, a sophomore in Valley Lutheran who was recently diagnosed with leukemia.

“I would love for us to do this to support him, and I think it’s really cool,” said Mika Smila, a junior at Valley Lutheran. “It might be one of my best friends. I went to elementary school with him.”

Orange is the color of leukemia awareness. Jack said he felt good enough to attend the match and said he was grateful for everyone’s support.

“I feel honored to see all of this,” Jack said. “It’s overwhelming in a good way. It’s so wonderful knowing I have all these people supporting me.”

Support also continued online as Jack’s high school friends started a GoFundMe page to help his family pay medical bills. The fundraiser has already exceeded its $10,000 goal.

“We always talk about our school as being family and it was family time,” Valley Lutheran coach Doug Guenther said. “It was a time when everyone gathered to pray for Jack, to remember Jack. I have Jack in class this year. Jack was supposed to be in class this year. So we keep thinking about him and praying for him at school as often as we can. We want him to be Jack is part of our family, so when he comes back he feels welcome.”

Jack said he still has months before he can attend classes in person, but said he’s starting to feel like himself again and can’t wait to be declared cancer-free one day.

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