WYOMING, Mich -- Wyoming High School will host the 7th annual Play for Melanoma baseball and softball games Friday at 6 p.m. against Grandville.
The games honor the memory of former Wyoming Rogers and Aquinas College star athlete Christy Paganelli who passed away in 2011 after being diagnosed with melanoma.
"The key thing is just bringing the awareness of melanoma and skin cancers." Christy's husband Dino Paganelli said. "Five million cases are diagnosed each year and most of those are outside of melanoma, but over 70% of the deaths come from melanoma or skin cancer but it is treatable and is something that I want the kids to realize just be aware put sunscreen on your playing athletics you are at the beach playing the summer, be aware skin and get self awareness with checks."
The students will each honor someone they know who has battled cancer, it's a very emotional experience.
"This year I am representing my grandpa who had prostate cancer a few years back" said Wyoming senior shortstop Grace Kallmeyn. "He is currently remission but he has been my number one supporter through all the years in all my sports and it's just a really big honor that I can just show him that my last year my last game getting to do this that I am doing it for him."
Baron Bykerk, a senior on the baseball team, lost his grandfather to cancer just 15 days after he honored him in last seasons game.
"I don't know what emotions I am going to be feeling" Bykerk said about Friday's game. "I definitely know I'm going to be touched to be able to honor him."
Proceeds from the game go to cancer research and the Christy Paganelli scholarship fund. Donations can also be made to Wyoming High Schoolm, attention Play for Melanoma.