Valley Lutheran community supports youth battling cancer

SAGINAW TWP., Mich. (WNEM) – The Valley Lutheran community is rallying around one of their own as he continues to battle cancer.

On Monday night, every member of the boys’ soccer team wore orange socks during a game against Saginaw Nouvel in support of Jack Koltvedt, a sophomore at Valley Lutheran who has just been diagnosed with leukemia.

Micah Cmeyla, a Valley Lutheran student, said: “I love that we’re doing this to support him and I think it’s really great. “He is probably one of my best friends. I went to school with him.”

Orange is the color for leukemia. Jack said he felt well enough to attend the game and said he was grateful for everyone’s support.

Jack said: “I feel so honored to have witnessed all of this. “It was overwhelming in a good way. It’s great to know that I have all these people supporting me.”

Support also continued online as Jack’s high school friends started a GoFundMe page to help his family with medical bills. The fundraiser surpassed its $10,000 goal.

“We always talk about our school as a family and it’s family time,” said Doug Guenther, head coach of Valley Lutheran. “It is a time for everyone to gather to pray for Jack, to remember Jack. I have Jack in class this year. There should have been Jack in class this year. So we continue to think about him and pray for him at school as much as we can. We want Jack to be part of our family so that when he comes back he can feel welcome.”

Jack said he’s still months away from being able to attend in-person classes, but said he’s starting to feel more in love with himself and he can’t wait to one day be declared no have cancer.

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