HASTINGS, Minn. — On a night when Hastings High School opened a newly renovated field, two different teams had a special reunion on the sideline.
KARE11’s Randy Shaver attended the game as part of the school’s annual #TackleCancer fundraiser for the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund, and made sure to meet up with Melissa Black, who attended the game as a Hastings teacher and fellow cancer survivor.
"It's a little crazy looking back at the year we've been through and where we are now, but it feels really good," Black said. “We've got Randy's bracelet on, and this is my 'Choose Joy' Bracelet,”
The “Choose Joy” motto was something the Black family and the entire Hastings community embraced after Melissa was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018. Six months later she was cancer free and now she is back working at Pine Crest Elementary in Hastings.
"Teaching second grade,” she said. “I’m exhausted but I'm so grateful. Our community has done so much for our family.”
That support inspired Melissa’s sons, Marcus and Donovan, to pay it forward a few months ago. After winning a $500 grant, the boys decided to donate the money to the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund after going to the #TackleCancer football games with their Dad, Charlie Black.
They presented Randy with that check in January, on the last day of his radiation.
On Friday, both Randy and Melissa celebrated being cancer free, and they were also both recognized by the community before the game kicked off.
They shared a hug as they walked off the field, and vowed to keep helping others.