The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • SIC Hoops: Hooping for hope & a cure

  • SIC hosting Pink Out Saturday night against Shawnee
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  • Southeastern Illinois Community College is doing something a little extra special on Saturday night and doing it for someone who is extra special to them.
    SIC will be hosting a Pink Out game on Saturday night, where anyone wearing the SIC Falcon Pink shirt can get in for free. All proceeds from the Pink shirt will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
    T-shirt, which can be purchased for $10, can be bought at Integrated Health, Dream Baskets, Unique Boutique, Hair Tech and the SIC Student Center.
    Also being honored Saturday night is an adopted member of the women's basketball team, five-year-old Keira Jo Allsopp, who has had a brain tumor.
    Since being "adopted" by the Lady Falcons, Allsopp sits on the bench, she has her own jersey and is considered a part of their team.
    SIC athletic director Jeremy Irlbeck couldn't be happier, in his first year at the Saline County Community College, to be a part of something he calls "bigger than any of us."
    "This is a great opportunity for us to give back to the community," Irlbeck said. "It makes me feel good that we are doing something way bigger than us. Sometimes, we get caught up in doing things just for ourselves. I know the girls on our basketball team love Keira and so far this has been a good deal."
    In October of 2010 at the age of 3, Allsopp was diagnosed with a type of brain tumor called Pilocyctic Astrocytoma Optic Glioma. It is located at the front of the brain encasing the pituitary gland and surrounding the optic nerves.
    That October, she had her first nine-hour brain surgery to remove part of the tumor. Allsopp had two other brain surgeries early in 2011 to resect more of the tumor and to relieve fluid pressure. Sixty percent of the tumor has been surgically removed while the remaining 40 percent is inoperable she was treated with multiple chemotherapy regimens from Nov. 2010 to June 2012 to impede the tumors growth.
    Throughout the process, Allsopp has had regular MRI's to monitor the size of her tumor and will continue to be monitored throughout her life. As of result of the tumor, Allsopp has total vision loss in her right eye and retains only half a field of vision in her left eye. As of earlier this month her tumor is still considered stable which means no new tumor growth. Allsopp is doing very well over coming this bump in the road and is a very strong and courageous little girl.
    “It really puts things in persepective,” SIC assistant coach Jared Franklin said. “We may have lost a basketball game, but we didn’t lose the game of life.”
    The Allsopp family, which resides in Franklin County, also includes parents Shelly and Adam, along with older sister Pressley and brother, Holden.
    Page 2 of 2 - “We like to get as many of the family members involved as we can,” Franklin said. “Just the other night, myself and a few of the girls on the team went to watch Holden play a basketball game.”
    The event starts at 5 p.m., and the Lady Falcons take on Shawnee Community College at 5:30; followed by the Falcon men at 7 p.m. Fun events will fill the half-time shows and between games, including some dance performances by Tumble Time Cheer & Fitness in Carmi, the Falcon Cheerleaders and a free-throw raffle to win a large basket of items donated by local businesses, as well as, the Eldorado Alumni Band will be playing.
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