Leathernecks honor and support local Miracle Kid at Saturday’s football game


Jace Skwara was named Honorary Captain and posed with lineman Tre Hendon after the game.

Marc Ramirez, News editor

Leatherneck Country came together at Saturday’s football game, not only to show support for the Fighting Leathernecks, but to show support for Jace Skwara and Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

“Jace has been diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma at the age of 4 months,” Prayers for Baby Jace, a Facebook page created by his parents reads. “It started with a small bump on his back, which doctors thought was a fatty mass. After two more appeared, the doctors reviewed further and sent us to Children’s Hospital in Saint Louis to have testing done. We found out that it was cancer unfortunately.”

The post was made Feb. 16, 2016. As of today, Skwara has beat and been cancer free for three years. Skwara and his family have developed a relationship with Western through Dance Marathon and through that, the three year old met his best friend, Leatherneck linebacker Tre Hendon.

Hendon serves as a Co-Director of Family Relations for Western’s Dance Marathon and was able to team up with Leatherneck Athletics to have Skwara serve as an honorary captain at Saturday night’s game. He was announced at the beginning of the game with a brief description of his story, met the referees to do the coin toss and was able to hang out on the sidelines until kickoff.

The Leathernecks took on Tennessee Tech for Saturday’s game. Both teams wore purple and gold. Purple is the ribbon color for neuroblastoma, the cancer Skwara beat and gold is the color for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

People are encouraged to help make miracles like the one experienced by the Skwara family happen by signing up for Western’s Dance Marathon event. Dance Marathon is a 12 hour event dedicated to dancing and fundraising money to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, hospitals that treat people like Skwara for free. People can sign up or donate at tinyurl.com/WIUDM20.