NFL star and local b-ball teams show support for 10-year-old boy fighting cancer
The Scott County basketball community is raising thousands of dollars for a 10-year-old student who was recently diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.
On Saturday, a two-day basketball benefit tournament kicked off in Georgetown to help Levi Delimpo get through treatment.
"It's more important than basketball," said family friend Kelli Kearney.
"He was diagnosed about a little over a week ago, with Ewing Sarcoma, which is a rare type of bone cancer," Kearney explained.
As an avid sports fan and basketball player himself, Levi is going to have to sit a few games out. His father, a Lexington police detective and Scott County basketball coach, will also likely miss a few games as his family takes on this rough battle.
"Levi actually started his fight a couple days ago with his first round of chemo and he's doing great," said Kearney.
Scott County coaches know the importance of keeping that momentum going, which is why they pulled more than a dozen teams together for a weekend face-off.
Ticket, treats, and t-shirt sales all went to the Delimpo family.
"Everyone knows that the medical bills are going to be significant for Levi's treatment," said Kearney.
Event organizers totaled more than $11,000 from Saturday alone. Sunday's sales will be calculated once the tournament wraps up at night.
"We are just trying to band together for this family, cause we all consider them part of our family," explained Kearney.
In addition to financial support, Levi is also getting a lot of prayers and well wishes, including words of encouragement from his NFL hero.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sent Levi a video filled with words of encouragement.
He said, in part, "Hey Levi, what's up partner? It's Ben Roethlisberger, just wanted to shoot you a quick note to say hello...let you know I'm thinking about ya. I know you're in Lexington, Kentucky I believe, and I know that's probably Bengals country, so I appreciate all the support you have for the black and gold down there and for me. Keep up the good fight."
If you want to get involved, you can still order a t-shirt by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Organizers ask that you include your size and phone number.
Cards and well wishes can be mailed to:
C/o Cedar Grove Baptist Church
1289 Cedar Road
Stamping Ground, KY 40379
Updates on Levi's condition will be posted to the family's public Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/changinglives4Jesus/ and donations can be made anytime to their fundraising site, https://www.gofundme.com/help-levi-fight-cancer