Oct. 6, 2011
ON CAMPUS IN NASHVILLE - On Friday, Oct. 7, the Vanderbilt women's soccer team will host its annual "Power in Pink" game when LSU visits campus for a key Southeastern Conference matchup. The event, which coincides with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, is especially important for two Commodore student-athletes.
Senior Emily Grant was in high school when her mother, Rose, was diagnosed with breast cancer. The reality of the disease quickly put things into perspective for the Adamstown, Md., native.
"It was eye-opening," Grant said. "Little things that used to phase you, just don't phase you anymore. You think big picture. You realize soccer is just a game."
Grant truly appreciates the opportunity to use the game of soccer to shed light on a disease that the National Cancer Institute says will affect one in eight women in their lifetime, "especially because we, as young women, are the ones that need to be most aware of it."
Freshman Gena Inbusch's mother, Catherine, also fought cancer while her daughter was in high school. For Inbusch, soccer provided stability during a tough time.
"Soccer, for me, was a support group when my mom was in the midst of battling cancer," Inbusch said. "That's who was bringing over dinners; that's who was there coming over and stopping by."
When Catherine went back for another procedure this summer, Inbusch again relied on her team for support. Having a teammate in Grant with a shared experience was a steadying presence.
"Having Emily here was so great for me through the whole thing," Inbusch said. "It's nice to have support from the team as a whole, but having someone who could relate made a huge difference for me."
Both Rose Grant and Catherine Inbusch will be in attendance at Friday's game. Their strength has been an immeasurable inspiration to both of their daughters.
"Both of our moms have gone through i, and shown incredible strength to get through something like that," Grant said. "Every day at practice when we have to run sprints, or when I'm playing and I'm not sure I'm strong enough to make that next run, I always just think about my mom and how this is nothing compared to what she did. That just makes me push harder and be stronger."
"When you're playing, you have a choice of how hard you work," Inbusch added. "But for them, it's not a choice, they had to do it."
Focusing on the field, the Commodores still will have visible reminders of the fight against breast cancer in the form of pink shoelaces, headbands and wristbands. All fans are encouraged to wear pink to the game, which begins at 7 p.m. CT. The first 100 fans will receive a free pink T-shirt, while the first 400 fans get a free pink wristband.
Representatives from Susan G. Komen for the Cure Greater Nashville will be on hand to provide information on breast cancer detection and prevention. Admission is free for all Vanderbilt students, as well as for children 12 and under that wear a youth soccer jersey.