As part of the #AllieStrong movement on the Missouri State University campus, the Bears’ football team will have orange helmet decals to support MSU softball player Allie Alvstad’s, who was recently diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, and to raise awareness of the disease.
Orange is the official awareness color for leukemia.
Senior football players Caleb Schaffitzel and Hunter Hays have taken the lead role in making the helmet modification for Saturday’s 2 p.m., game against Youngstown State.
“It’s about Allie, not us,” said Hays, a long snapper and safety from Clinton, Mo. “There’s no doubt she’d be at the game Saturday if she could, and it’s important that we show her that we’re here for her even though she can’t be here.”
Schaffitzel, an All-American safety from Fair Grove, Mo., noted the anticipated sellout crowd for Saturday’s game at Robert W. Plaster Stadium is an opportunity to help raise money and awareness for Alvstad and her situation.
“We got with our players and tried to come up with ideas to show our support,” he said. “We figured those no better way to start discussion about the cause than to make a statement in front of a full stadium. She’s part of the MSU family, and we want to support her and her family.”
On Sept. 1, Alvstad (Tulsa, Okla.) was admitted to the hospital, and four days later was diagnosed with the disease. Acute myeloid leukemia is a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow in the body. Alvstad began chemotherapy on Sept. 9 and is awaiting a bone marrow transplant once the chemotherapy therapy has finished.
Orange wristbands with the inscription “Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose! #AllieStrong” have been distributed to all Missouri State teams, and support from the MSU community has been tremendous.
The softball team will be collecting donations at BearFest Village and Robert W. Plaster Stadium on Saturday to help defray the Alvstad family’s medical expenses. The Missouri State Bookstore will also be releasing an exclusive #AllieStrong t-shirt at its main location on the Springfield campus, starting Wednesday, with proceeds going to the cause.