Football rivals put aside differences to support cheerleader fighting cancer

Posted at 11:32 PM, Oct 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-06 23:32:38-04

Under the Friday night lights, two rivals battle.

“Sometimes you see a few extra police officers here, that's how big this rivalry is. It gets really heated,” said Don Sturdevant, Heidi's father.

The Cuba-Rushford verse Bolivar-Richburg matchup normally has the two schools squaring off. 

This Friday night was different. 

“It's sort of a friendly matchup and letting these kids know that it doesn't matter what school you're from, what your colors are, sometime in life, everybody is going to face adversity  and have to battle something,” said Corine Bump, family friend of the Sturdevant's. 

One cheerleader from Bolivar-Richburg knows all too well about battling.

“It's stage four Hodgkin’s Lymphoma,” said Heidi Sturdevant. She turned 16 in August. In July she was diagnosed. 

“When we got that news it was devastating obviously,” said Don.

The junior is taking chemotherapy at Rosewell Park Cancer Institute and soon will need radiation. 

Almost everyone watching the game wore purple. The color represents the fight against Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.   

The biggest show of support happened before the game. Two rivals joined together.

“It is really overwhelming but it's support and I'm thankful for it,” said Heidi.

Side-by-side each football player, presented Heidi with a flower. 

“It's really nice and like especially the Bolivar Boys because they know me so they kept saying comments to me and it's really nice,” added Heidi.

Heidi has a battle in front of her, but behind her, she has more support than she could ever know.