Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

October 12, 2013

Fight against cancer gets personal at PikeView

By TOM BONE
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

GARDNER — A national effort to draw attention to the fight against cancer has gotten personal at PikeView High School.

Amber Dickerson, a 2010 PikeView graduate and former volleyball player who is in her third bout with cancer, will receive proceeds from a benefit spaghetti dinner at the school on Tuesday evening preceding the Lady Panthers’ volleyball tri-match, according to dinner organizers.

The “Think Pink” spaghetti meal will take place from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the commons area of the school. Cost is $5 in advance or $6 at the door. Current volleyball team members are selling tickets. More information about the dinner tickets is available from Tammy Cook at 304-922-0807.

A junior varsity match between PikeView and James Monroe will begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday. A varsity tri-match, including PikeView, James Monroe and Liberty high schools starts about 7:15 p.m.

After the JV game, the PikeView JROTC group at the school will make a presentation to a local cancer-fighting group, the Emma’s Touch Foundation, and the PikeView volleyball team will present a check to Dickerson.

All cancer survivors who are present will be acknowledged during the presentation.

During the JV match, the PikeView Fellowship of Christian Athletes will conduct the school’s third annual “Locks of Love” hair-cutting event. Anyone interested in donating 10 inches or more of their hair may join a local hair stylist courtside during the games.

The hair will be used to make wigs for cancer patients, according to a press release from the PikeView coaches. Hair donations can be colored.

Dickerson was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma last December. According to the release, “She has had three different types of chemotherapy and is unable to work due to her treatments. Dickerson is planning on receiving a bone marrow transplant this December.”

“(She) is a single parent of an adorable little 2-year-old boy named Kolton,” the release stated.

PikeView head coach Steve Compton said on Saturday that he knew Dickerson had been battling cancer when she contacted him a few weeks ago.

“She gave me a call and asked if I could come to practice, just for something to do,” he said. “I said sure. I really didn’t know if she would show up. People going through chemo, sometimes they don’t feel like it.”

One day at practice, he was trying to motivate his current team to become more involved, and said, “ ‘Maybe one day a young lady will come in here and you’ll see why it’s important.’ And she came in to practice that same day.”

“Now she’s hanging out with us at practice whenever she can, and bringing her little boy, who is gorgeous.”

“When we were thinking about raising funds, we just said, ‘Hey, let’s do something for Amber because she played for us three years ago.’ ”

Compton said about his team’s involvement with the annual cancer-awareness effort, “They look forward to it, really, every year. it’s a good cause.”

The evening is part of “Digging for a Cure.” The press release noted it is “dedicated to all cancer survivors in hopes that one day these devastating diseases will be cured.”

Attendees are encouraged to wear pink in support of cancer survivors.

— Contact Tom Bone at

tbone@bdtonline.com