by Andy Watson

DELTA, B.C. - The Delta Islanders Junior A Lacrosse Club is holding a jersey auction with special third jerseys on Saturday June 8 to raise funds for the Thomas Haydon Memorial Award.

The Islanders host a double-header with their alumni game at 3:30 p.m. followed by a regular season game at 7 p.m. This year, the Thomas Haydon Memorial Award is pleased to announce that all funds raised at this annual event will be donated to the family of Sarah Rodgers. 

In March 2023, at the age of 8, Sarah was diagnosed with a Central Nervous System Neuroblastoma (brain cancer). This was unexpected - Sarah had just had a few headaches prior to being diagnosed, and she underwent a 13-hour-plus surgery immediately to try and remove as much of the tumor as possible.

The neurosurgeons were able to remove a portion of the tumor, but due to its location, further treatment was needed and much of the tumor remained.

She then underwent 33 brain- and spine-radiation treatments at BC Cancer Centre in Vancouver. Following her radiation treatment, she had an additional brain surgery to remove fluid and prep her for chemotherapy.

In August 2023, Sarah began six months of very heavy inpatient chemotherapy to combat the remaining cancer. She battled hard during this time and became quite sick. Later in November, Sarah had a tonic colonic seizure (grand mal) while inpatient at BC Children's Hospital. She managed to fight back and continue the remainder of her treatment which completed in February 2024.

Based on MRI results, Sarah has not yet been cleared of cancer. She still has remaining tumor cells and the team at BCCH is not sure if the cells will grow or if she will need further treatment. Results will be known pending Sarah's next couple of upcoming scans.

Sarah is in Grade 4 at Hawthorne Elementary, she is back at school, making friends, and attending weekly physio sessions to combat the neuropathy caused by the chemotherapy which has affected her ability to walk and run.

Sarah and her family will be the guests of honor at Delta’s Alumni Game from 3:30-5 p.m. at the Ladner Leisure Centre (LLC) on June 8 which will be followed by an autograph session with National Lacrosse League (NLL) players and Timber of the Vancouver Warriors. The Junior A Islanders team (1-3) hosts the Port Coquitlam Saints (5-2) at 7 p.m., also at the LLC. 

Jerseys are only being worn for the Junior A game, with a handful of duplicates being sold in an online jersey auction.

Please come join for a great day of lacrosse and show your support for Sarah and her family.