A high school cross country team in New York demonstrated the true meaning of teamwork in an uplifting viral video.
Yeva Klingbeil, a senior at Shenendehowa High School who was diagnosed with cancer in November 2019, had help from a few of her teammates in crossing the finish line at a meet on Monday.
“What a great moment to see Senior Yeva Klingbeil at today’s girls track & field meet,” the school’s athletic department wrote, posting the video on Twitter.
“Yeva’s teammates help her across the line in the 4X1 relay,” the post continued. “Yeva continues her fight with cancer and we continue to be amazed by her spirit!!”
The video has been viewed more than 180,000 times and counting, showing Klingbeil walk arm-in-arm with three of her teammates as they helped her finish the race. The rest of the team and runners from other schools rushed to congratulate her after, chanting her name in unison.
Klingbeil was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer that affects muscle tissue, mostly in adolescents.
According to a Pledge It fundraising page for Klingbeil, she began chemotherapy in 2019 for a cancerous mass around her jaw, followed by radiation treatments, which damaged her brainstem. After weeks in the ICU and work with several specialists, she’s regained some of her function, and the tumor has shrunk to half of its original size.
“Yeva and her family pray her brain will continue healing and she’ll be able to breathe, walk, and eat once again,” her coach Rob Cloutier wrote on Pledge It. “While Yeva has gone through all of this and more, she has never stopped caring about her friends and family and has never given up hope of recovery.”
Cloutier organized a marathon last fall to help Klingbeil’s family offset the cost of her medical expenses. The marathon raised $21,474, which they also shared with Family Reach, an organization that offers financial assistance families of cancer patients.