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The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.

FHNtoday.com

The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.

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Annual Pink Out Basketball Game Changes to Purple Out to Memorialize John Delarue’s Fight With Pancreatic Cancer

Senior+Kendra+Swope+hugs+her+mom+while+in+tears+during+the+annual+pink+out+game+on+Jan.+19.
Credit to Mallory Barker
Senior Kendra Swope hugs her mom while in tears during the annual pink out game on Jan. 19.

The meaning behind North’s annual pink out basketball game goes well beyond the sport of basketball.

 Each year, North’s basketball program hosts one game with the sole purpose of raising awareness against the fight people face daily against breast cancer. Each of the girls basketball players on all levels create a jersey to either recognize someone they know who fought cancer, or to recognize all fighters of cancer. Pink Out has turned into a huge event, with it being a large fundraiser used to support the community’s victims of breast cancer. Girls varsity basketball team head coach Danielle Rampley has been coaching for five seasons and the event has been a tradition she’s upheld ever since taking over the program.

 “Pink Out was created to raise awareness and to raise money for cancer research,” Rampley said. “I think we just keep that tradition going, whether it’s donating to breast cancer research or other local cancer organizations.”

 Sisters Isabelle and Gabrielle Delarue made a huge impact on FHN’s basketball program, both on and off the court. Isabelle Delarue set the school record in points, rebounds and steals, while also being the GAC Central Player of the Year her senior season. Her sister Gabrielle was also a phenomenal player during her time at FHN. Current seniors at FHN played with Isabelle Delarue, and though they were just freshmen, they still remember the impact she left on them. So, when their father John Delarue was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in June of 2023 and passed away suddenly in July of 2023, the basketball community decided to change the annual pink out night to purple out in his memory.

 “My family and I are extremely appreciative of the Lady Knights basketball program as well as the whole Knights community,” Isabelle Delarue said. “It means a lot to know how many people cared about my dad and we hope that one day there will be a cure for all kinds of cancers, not just pancreatic. It is such a sad and hard thing that so many families go through every year and it’s important in times like these to know that you have people in your corner who are there for you.”

 Aside from just changing the color scheme of the night to purple to represent pancreatic cancer, the proceeds that are typically donated to local cancer foundations are going to go to Washington University Cancer Research to hopefully find a cure for pancreatic cancer in the future. For some of the girls on the team, they haven’t had such a personal experience with cancer before, and the loss of John Delarue from the basketball community brings a new meaning to the night. While having purple out instead of pink out isn’t expected to continue into the future, the basketball team is always willing to support their families and community in any way they can. This year’s purple out game took place on Jan. 19 at FHN against Francis Howell High. The Lady Knights had a great fan turnout and were able to spread awareness about the devastating effects of pancreatic cancer, as well as remembering John Delarue and everyone who’s fought against cancer.

 “I think just having this game in general to honor and play in memory of John Delarue and in support of his family is going to be a special moment,” Rampley said. “John’s body was donated to science, to give students at Washington University a learning opportunity. By donating all proceeds to them, hopefully one day they will find a cure for this disease.”

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