The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The plunge that strikes out cancer

During+the+midst+of+Kendall+Vincent%E2%80%99s+senior+year%2C+doctors+diagnosed+him+with+B-cell+Lymphoma.+To+show+support%2C+his+childhood+best+friends+shaved+their+heads+and+organized+a+Strikeout+Cancer+polar+plunge+on+New+Years+Day+alongside+the+NC+community+to+raise+money+for+Vincent%E2%80%99s+treatments.+While+the+fundraiser+continues%2C+people+around+the+globe+raised+nearly+%245%2C000+for+Vincent%E2%80%99s+cause.+%0A
Tim Ramirez
During the midst of Kendall Vincent’s senior year, doctors diagnosed him with B-cell Lymphoma. To show support, his childhood best friends shaved their heads and organized a Strikeout Cancer polar plunge on New Year’s Day alongside the NC community to raise money for Vincent’s treatments. While the fundraiser continues, people around the globe raised nearly $5,000 for Vincent’s cause.

In mid-November, doctors diagnosed star pitcher of the NC varsity baseball team, Kendall Vincent (4) with B-cell Lymphoma, a type of cancer attacking his knees, lower back and left shoulder. The senior class of 2024, which includes Vincent, in company with his four best friends, tight end James Roe (24), Jackson Ball, pitcher Mitchell Addison and Jack Michel, invested in planning a polar plunge on New Year’s Day to raise money for Vincent’s treatment. 

Initially, Vincent believed the ache he noticed in his knee felt like ligament pain until doctors revealed the irritation to resemble cancer. After his diagnosis, the four friends shaved their heads as a tribute to Vincent since he began losing his hair due to chemotherapy treatments. While friends and family grew devastated by the news, they remained hopeful about what the future would hold. With this hope, the four friends pulled through with the Strikeout Cancer polar plunge, aided by the generosity of the Kennesaw community and the moms of several of Vincent’s closest friends.

“Seeing him go through something like that is definitely surreal. It just shows, don’t take any opportunity for granted and appreciate every moment and all the little aspects of life, because God’s got a plan for everybody, and you never know when one door closes, what the other door opens,” Roe said. 

The plunge, held in a Legacy Park neighborhood pool, began with Roe, Ball, Addison and Michel taking the first dive into frigid waters while countless teammates, friends and family members followed to support the cause. Vincent joyfully watched his loved ones jump into the pool from a FaceTime call while sitting in his hospital room, which helped lift his spirits. 

“He’s got our back, we’ve got his. He would do it for us in a heartbeat, and I’m so grateful for the friendship that I have with these guys… It’s just crazy to see everybody pitch in for somebody I care for so much, and it’s a brotherhood, and there’s no other way to describe it,” Roe said. 

While Vincent’s diagnosis shook the world of his loved ones, B-cell lymphoma remains a treatable and curable cancer with a multitude of new treatments including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapies and countless others, which researchers continue to discover. Vincent’s community, including classmates, teammates and teachers, sends abundant encouragement and positivity while he takes on his treatments and continues his battle to strike out cancer. 

The Chant would like to acknowledge Vincent’s fundraiser, donations for which continue to take place through Venmo @Susan-Addison-2144 with the memo “Strikeout Cancer.”  

 
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About the Contributor
Mackenzie Blanco, Reporter
Mackenzie Blanco, a magnet sophomore at NC, joined The Chant because of her love for writing and hopes it will better her writing skills. Ever since a little girl, she has admired writing stories to release her creative thoughts and steadfast opinions. Blanco enjoys being part of the Color Guard at NC, baking delicious treats, going on hikes and attending her youth group gatherings. She also enjoys spending time with her friends, reading books and venturing out with her dog, Chico. During school, Blanco is involved in clubs, including Beta Club, FCA and Collective Hope. Blanco hopes that The Chant brings her the inspiration to make an impact on the world with her writing.

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