By Abbie Martinez | Staff Writer
May 23 marked the annual “Powder Puff” football game at the Pearce B practice field. The senior and junior girls put together two teams to play a friendly game of flag football.
This has been a way for the students to honor Kaitlyn Seidel, and give back to the Seidel family by helping them spread awareness of unknown heart conditions and raise money for the Parent Heart Watch Foundation.
Kaitlyn was a softball player and involved in Young Life during her high school years. Kaitlyn unexpectedly died one night while eating at Chili’s for dinner. Her mother never thought of her daughter needing an electrocardiogram, which is a test that records the heart’s activity, since Kaitlyn was always active and a healthy teenager. Her softball jersey number was 5, which is always on the Powder Puff T-shirts.
“It was so heartwarming to see the Pearce Community come together to honor Kaitlyn and raise awareness for heart disease,” senior Sarah Jolly said. “Between the players, coaches, cheerleaders and those who attended the game, we will be albe to make a large donation to the Parent Heart Watch Foundation in memory of Kaitlyn.”
At halftime, the audience was given the privilege of hearing Mrs. Seidel talk about her daughter’s story and why parents shouldn’t be afraid to get their children tested. “Who would have thought that they needed to get their child tested when they run a mile every day, play three sports and are very healthy,” Mrs. Seidel said.
“Mrs. Seidel is truly an incredible woman. She is so passionate about the program and the Parent Heart Watch Foundation,” senior Regan Marx said. “I think it’s amazing that we have the game dedicated to Kaitlyn and the foundation while having a blast planning the game and getting everyone together.”
Kaitlyn wasn’t the only one who had a unknown heart condition in the Pearce Community. Pearce student Libby Aldridge and 2013 Graduate Victoria Lloret have also been affected with unknown heart conditions. They also shared their own stories at halftime after Mrs. Seidel.
“I had gone to the doctor after blacking out in front of my mom, but the doctor had told me that they didn’t really see anything wrong,” Libby said. “I went back to my everyday life routine, never really thinking about it again. I had heard of Kaitlyn’s story, and so I went and talked to Mrs. Seidel, and she was adamant about me going back and demanding some answers. When I went back to the doctor, they told me that I needed a pacemaker put in. A week before my surgery, I actually blacked out in North Junior High’s hallway and was rushed to the hospital.
“Don’t be afraid to just go get your heart checked out,” Libby warned.