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Franklin Regional team hosts fundraiser

Bill Hartlep
| Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010

Franklin Regional volleyball player Alyssa Hensley knows what it's like to be hooked up to an IV for chemotherapy treatments five days a week.

A 5-foot-3 defensive specialist, Hensley remembers how she felt before and after surgery to remove a grapefruit-size tumor.

And she vividly recalls being tired and worn down for months while she fought the effects of ovarian cancer and the subsequent treatment.

In August, Hensley returned to the Franklin Regional volleyball team with a clean bill of health after five months fighting the disease.

"I never really knew what it was like (to have cancer)," said Hensley, a junior. "I didn't understand it. A lot of people in my family had dealt with it. I just thought this is something about life that comes and goes. People get it and don't get it. I just had to fight it and win it and be me again."

Tonight, she will do her part to help make sure the battle against cancer is spotlighted, as the Panthers host their second annual Dig Pink event to benefit the Side-Out Foundation.

Dig Pink is a national breast cancer awareness initiative that takes place during October in gyms across the country. All funds raised go toward education and the fight against breast cancer.

Franklin Regional will host Section 1-AAA rival Penn-Trafford tonight, and both teams will wear pink uniforms to commemorate the event.

There also will be raffles, auctions, games and prizes, in addition to the pink-themed concession items available.

"Anything we can do to help them would put a big smile on my face," said Hensley, who along with her teammates raised more than $1,500 for the foundation last year in the inaugural Dig Pink fundraiser.

Franklin Regional second-year coach Matt Heyman helped introduce the idea last season and is hoping for an even bigger contribution this year.

"After what we did last year and what we were able to accomplish, it will be that and better," Heyman said. "It should be a class act. It will be something we're proud of every year I'm here."

Franklin Regional players' parents have organized the event the past two years and are hoping the entertainment, raffles and prizes will be a big draw.

Tonight's event will get started at 6 p.m. with a junior varsity match, followed by the varsity match at 7:30 p.m.

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