Benton Evening News - Benton, IL
  • SIC Lady Falcons 'adopt' Keira Allsopp

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  • Perseverance continues to pay off for a Whittington girl who has battled a brain tumor over the past three years.
    Keira Allsopp, 5, has been "adopted" by the Southeastern Illinois College women's basketball team.
    Keira, her sister Presley, 10, and brother Holden, 8, now have a seat on the sidelines as the water girls/boy for the Lady Falcons. This has been an amazing experience for the Allsopp kids, whose parents are Adam and Shelly Allsopp.
    The children have become friends with the players and coaches, and they really enjoy watching and helping practice with the ladies, their mother said.
    "They really like going to the practices," Shelly Allsopp said. "Keira has made really good friends with a couple of the players. They've gone out to eat with us and have gone to watch some softball and baseball games."
    SIC assistant coach Jared Franklin is the one who contacted the American Cancer Society. Coach Jared says bringing kids like Keira in helps his ladies just as much as it does for Keira.
    "Having Keira around makes the ladies try hard and not give up," Franklin said.
    Keira has never given up in her with fight with a brain tumor.
    She has been dealing with the tumor since being diagnosed in October 2010 and still has 40 percent of the tumor, which is "stable." She faces every day with a smile on her face.
    She has a challenge ahead of her each day: She has lost complete vision in her right eye and only has half of her field of vision in her left eye.
    "She attends pre-K here at Ewing-Northern Grade School and does eye therapy," Shelly Allsopp noted.
    However, if you know Keira, you would say she is not going to let anything get her down, her mom said.
    Southeastern Illinois College is having a Pink Out at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, when the Lady Falcons entertain Shawnee. The SIC ladies will be wearing Keira shirts to warm up in.
    All money raised will be going to Susan Komen Foundation. Please come out and support the team and their special assistants!
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