Transcending the Athletic Arena: Stricken High School Athlete Receives Warm Welcome

It’s stories like this that make me believe in the human spirit, the connectedness between us all, the utter and overwhelming feelings we have toward others when tragedy befalls someone through no fault of their own.  We, as a people, as a country, are quickly able to relate to another’s plight, especially when that plight afflicts the young; the ones who have not yet had the chance to reach their goals and realize their dreams.

Such is the story of Katie Vree who, before June of this year, was a normal, healthy athlete looking forward to summer break and all that it would bring. That’s how Bob Narang describes her in his recent article “Volleyball | Chicago Christian raises money for teammate recovering from virus attack.”

According to Bob’s piece, the virus Katie caught attacked her spinal fluid, confining her to a wheelchair and months of continued occupational and physical therapy at a rehabilitation center in Chicago.

Her volleyball teammates at Chicago Christian took it upon themselves to earn money for Katie and her family to help pay for accumulated medical bills through donations based on their play against Aurora Central Catholic. And play they did, handily defeating Central in two games of a best of three game match and earning a whopping $41,000.

I implore you to read Bob’s story as there is much more to it than what I have provided here. I just did not feel I could expand any further on the intricacies of the story, how she became part of her family, or her teammates’ efforts on her behalf, and felt that it would be best read as a firsthand account.

In the end, I would expect you to come away from the story with the same feelings as I had, with a tear in your eye and a genuine sense of compassion for Katie and her family as her teammates bring some needed happiness back into Katie’s life.

A memory, I am certain, will stay with them forever.

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