When the Lakeville South Cougars face the Hopkins Royals in the high school football playoffs on Friday night, expect to see plenty of fans dressed in orange to support a player who has been diagnosed with cancer.
Parker Eisinger, a sophomore at Lakeville South, was recently diagnosed with what his family says is an "aggressive" form of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). Leukemia is represented by the color orange, which is why Eisinger's family and friends are asking everyone attending Friday night's game to wear orange.
Friday's game is at Lakeville South High School, where the undefeated, No. 1-ranked Cougars host Hopkins at 7 p.m. Lakeville South is 8-0 and has steamrolled everyone, including crushing Hopkins 50-0 last week. It'll likely be a big crowd, and Eisinger's supporters hope everyone turns the bleachers into a sea of orange.
Eisinger had been feeling unwell for a couple weeks before his mother took him to urgent care on Oct. 18. That visit to the doctor led to more visits, ultimately ending with the cancer diagnosis on Oct. 21. He was also diagnosed with mono.
"At this point he has now had a port put in and started his first round of chemo. He may be hospitalized during treatment for possibly 2-6 months. He is only allowed two visitors per day. He most likely may need a bone marrow transfer," Kate Peterson, Eisinger's aunt, wrote in his CaringBridge journal.
A GoFundMe for Eisinger's family has been created with a goal of raising $50,000 to help pay for medical expenses. You can donate here.
"Battling Cancer can be unpredictable and their needs may change at a moments notice. Having this fund to draw from can reassure that finances will not have to be a concern at any point along this journey. If you also would like to help Parker and his clan, I encourage you to donate here," the GoFundMe says.
According to Mayo Clinic, acute myeloid leukemia is most common in people aged 65 and older. Only about 500 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with AML annually, according to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.