On Saturday, Lauren Turner and Indianapolis’ Brebeuf Prep girls soccer team played for a state title.
And Lauren’s mom got to watch her daughter, the goalie.
Stephanie Turner was given just days to live two weeks ago. She’s fought breast cancer for almost five years and beat it before it returned last month.
“I wouldn’t miss this,” she told the Indianapolis Star’s Gregg Doyel on Saturday.
Well, it was game day. And Stephanie Turner, home on hospice care for almost a week, unable to get out of bed, suddenly was able.
Her parents have been in town for a week, Nettie and John from Baltimore, and for almost a week they’ve seen their daughter in her bed. Now they see her up and wearing the Brebeuf shirt and windbreaker, and she’s ready to go, and it’s not time.
“She was ready two hours early!” Nettie was telling me. “We had to tell her she could get back into bed for a little while.”
They’ve come from all over for these final days – her parents and sister from Baltimore, Uncle Bill from Atlanta, a handsome nephew named Carter, more – and on Saturday morning 12 members of the family woke up under the same roof. That included John, the senior safety at Notre Dame. The Irish played at Temple on Saturday, but Troy Turner had told Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly about the situation back home. He asked if John could come home to see his mom for perhaps the last time.
Her daughter’s team gives up an early goal, but the Brebeuf team scores two, and wins the state championship 2-to-1.
The clock shows zeroes and a horn sounds and the Brebeuf soccer team is celebrating, and Lauren Turner is sprinting off the field, onto the track around it, over the railing. The Brebeuf goalkeeper has scaled the wall and is running up the bleachers toward Suite 7, and now the Brebeuf soccer team is following her.
Lauren bursts into Suite 7, and Stephanie is crying, and Lauren is crying, and now the whole suite is crying. And here come the Braves, one after another, forwards and midfielders and defenders and they’re all crying and hugging their goalkeeper’s mom. They’re hugging Stephanie Turner, who is wiping tears from her eyes as her husband watches.
In a corner of Suite 7, Lauren Turner is almost inconsolable. Teammates are holding her up, and after about three minutes the team is heading back onto the field for the trophy presentation.
Troy asks Stephanie if she wants to leave the warmth of Suite 7. Does she want to go onto the field for the trophy ceremony?
Stephanie says something I’ve heard her say before.
“I have to be there,” she says, and in a few minutes she is in her wheelchair, under her blanket, next to the field. She watches her daughter receive a championship medal.
Her daughter accepted the team’s state championship trophy and put it in her mom’s lap.
— Gregg Doyel (@GreggDoyelStar) November 2, 2015
(h/t: Brian Reynolds)
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