Valley Lutheran community supporting teen battling cancer

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

Monday night, every member of the varsity boys soccer team wore orange socks during their game against Saginaw Nouvel to support Jack Koltvedt, a sophomore at Valley Lutheran who was recently diagnosed with leukemia.

“I love that we’re doing this to support him, and I think it’s really awesome,” said Micah Cmeyla, a Valley Lutheran junior. “He’s probably one of my closest friends. I went to grade school with him.”

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

“I feel so honored to see all this,” Jack said. “It’s overwhelming in a good way. It’s very awesome to know that I have all of these people supporting me.”

The support has also continued online where high school friends of Jack started a GoFundMe page to help his family with medical bills. The fundraiser has already surpassed its $10,000 goal.

“We always talk about our school being a family and it was family time,” said Doug Guenther, Valley Lutheran head coach. “It was a time for everybody to get together to pray for Jack, to remember Jack. I have Jack in class this year. Was supposed to have Jack in class this year. So we continue to think about him and pray for him in school as much as we can. We want Jack to be a part of our family so when he comes back he can feel welcome.”

Jack said he’s still months away from being able to attend classes in person, but said he is starting to feel more like himself again and he cannot wait to someday be declared cancer free.

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