Huskies Lend Support To Local Girl's Plight

Aug. 31, 2009

SEATTLE - The Husky women's soccer team welcomed a special guest to their game last week in Annika Dybevik, a 13-year-old who has been battling cancer. Annika was presented with a Husky jacket from current UW goalkeeper Jorde LaFontaine-Kussmann, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2007 but is now in remission.

Dybevik was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma in her right lower fibula on New Year's Eve, 2008. She began her chemotherapy treatment on January 9th and has been going through her rounds ever since. She began her last round on Friday, which lasts five days. The Huskies invited Annika to the game Wednesday night on the eve of her final treatments in hopes of taking her mind off of the chemo and inspiring her to beat the cancer.

'She was sitting on the bench with us and she's sitting there biting her nails which we thought was because she was nervous about the chemo, but she was nervous about our game,' Husky associate head coach Amy Griffin said.

Griffin heard from a friend about Annika's plight and since then, she and LaFontaine-Kussmann have been making visits to the young girl to lift her spirits.

'It was so great to watch them interact,' Griffin said of Annika and Jorde. 'Whenever Jorde would talk to Annika, I would look at her mom and she would just be staring at Jorde in amazement because she looks so good and (Annika's mom) Mary Beth hasn't seen Annika look her best in a while. And then when Jorde would talk to Mary Beth, Annika would just be staring at Jorde. They just can't get enough of her because she's been there and remembers stuff like when she just wanted to be left alone after this treatment, or what DVDs she wanted after a different treatment. Mary Beth makes notes of everything she went through. It's great to see.'

Griffin, LaFontaine-Kussmann and the rest of the Huskies will continue to keep Annika in their thoughts and hope that she too will beat the illness.

For more information on Annika, click here.

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