The University of South Dakota Cross country team carried the game ball from Sioux Falls to the DakotaDome in honor of a three-year-old battling lymphoma. The teammates wanted to give hope to Cameron Walter who will likely be going through chemo for the next three years.
Below the early South Dakota sun, across miles and miles of fields, these USD cross country runners carrying a special girl in their hearts.
"We run as one and that's what our sport is all about," Kelsey Barrett said. "We run as one and we are making Cameron one of our team today."
The team is running from The Sanford Castle of Care to the DakotaDome to raise awareness of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Cameron Walter, a teammate's sister was diagnosed this summer.
"We've all known Cameron for quite a while so to have it not only be a young child but somebody you know and care about it's even more meaningful," said Head Coach Dan Fitzsimmons.
The main tumor sat on Walter's left lung, eventually collapsing it and causing complications. She even has a few spots on each kidney. She's undergoing weekly chemotherapy and has had about a dozen blood transfusions.
"We were trying to think of things we could do to help out the family and create some awareness about the illness and support Cameron," Fitzsimmons said.
Once the game ball gets to Vermillion, Walters will personally walk it onto the field. Teammates hope it gives Walters hope to keep fighting.
"It's an honor," Barrett said. "It touches each of us and we wouldn't have it any other way. We'd be upset if we weren't asked to do it so we are all in it for her."