November 2014

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75 "It oen reminds me that whatever challenges I have personally or professionally as a coach, that they're nothing compared to (Lucy's) and that they're not in- surmountable. Having her around is a great reminder of resilience, positivity, and non-stop energy toward making every day a great day." "Sometimes I'm working hard and trying to achieve a goal in volleyball, I'm tired and am feeling like every- thing is going wrong," Blomberg said. "I'll have a day like that and then she'll come into the gym and put a smile on my face. "Our problems are miniscule compared to what she has to go through on a daily basis. It puts things in per- spective and makes you realize there are things bigger than volleyball. She has become part of our family, and we love having her around." e experience has also been an emotional one for the Roth family. "I could see Lucy with them a million times and it would never get old," Damien said. "You have all of these tall, strong, athletic ladies and then this tiny girl runs up to them. ey embrace her and make her feel special. She's the center of attention, they play with her, and it means the world to us. "She has to endure so much difficulty every day and to watch your little child suffer so much is hard. To be able to do something like this, to have something we look forward to, is nice." Hawkeye fans that wish to support Lucy and her family with medical expenses for current and future treat- ments can make a donation to the Lucy Jane Roth Medical Fund at Bank of the West. Lucy Jane Roth Medical Fund Donors may stop by a local Bank of the West Branch or send checks through the mail. Checks must be made payable to the Lucy Jane Roth Medical Fund. All checks must be endorsed on the back with: For De- posit Only, Lucy Jane Roth Medical Fund. Checks can be mailed to: Bank of the West 800 22nd Avenue Coralville, IA 52241 Telephone: 319-354-6960 T he gymnasium is filled with strong, tall, and athletic college volleyball players, who are near- ing the end of another practice. A 5-year-old girl runs in with her father, carrying a ball of her own to play with on the other side of the courts. She may not be as tall, but she is as mighty, as her University of Iowa volleyball friends. Lucy Jane Roth has been a fighter since the age of two when doctors found a rare, soball-sized malignant tumor in her brain. She underwent a 12-hour sur- gery to remove the growing tumor, that could not be completely removed because blood vessels had grown through it. e surgery le her paralyzed on the right side, but she has since re-learned to walk. Lucy's weekly routine isn't that of a normal 5-year- old. It includes physical and occupational therapy to improve mobility and use of the right side of her body, chemotherapy treatments, and doctor appointments. She will likely face a second surgery and radiation in the future. Despite the tough experiences she has had in her life, Lucy remains a happy, energetic, and joyful girl. She loves life and as her father, Damien, says, she has never met a stranger. Her father grew up with UI head coach Bond Shyman- sky. Aer hearing about Lucy, Shymansky wanted to do anything he could to help. She was invited to prac- tice and the Hawkeyes took it from there, embracing Lucy as part of their family. "It's inspiring to have her around," junior Julianne Blomberg said. "e first day she came to visit, she was following us around and asked for someone to play with her. I took her on a tour of Carver-Hawkeye Arena, walked around with her, and showed her fun stuff that seems normal to us, but she found cool. We bonded when that happened." Lucy has had a profound impact on the Hawkeye vol- leyball team and staff. She has been a shining example of taking a positive approach to life. "As a father, it's heartbreaking to see Damien and his wife, Heather, going through such a difficult challenge with Lucy," Shymansky said. "She's an energetic, pre- cious, and upbeat little kid. She doesn't know she has it rough, which is amazing.

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