The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Go fight, Quinn.

Provided%0AThe+Aggie+soccer+team+marks+%26%238220%3BPlay+4+Quinn%26%238221%3B+on+their+arms+before+matches.
Provided The Aggie soccer team marks “Play 4 Quinn” on their arms before matches.

Sisterhood goes deeper than blood. For one member of the soccer team, it crosses state lines and finds resilience in the toughest of circumstances.
When Quinn Pesicka, 9, began chemotherapy for a rare form of cancer, Karlie Mueller and the A&M soccer team rallied to support her.
Mueller met the Pesicka family when she was in high school. The oldest of three children, Quinn has Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma, a cancerous disease that targets the adrenal glands around Quinn’s kidneys.
To raise awareness for juvenile cancer and to support Quinn’s fight, the soccer SEC opener against Tennessee on Thursday will double as a fundraising event. Quinn and her family, who live in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, will be in attendance.
“With [September] being childhood cancer awareness month, it kind of worked out perfectly,” said Mueller, an allied health junior. “That family has helped me so much, and our team being so close knit they want to help out them in return.”
Quinn’s mother, Katie Pesicka, was Mueller’s freshman algebra teacher. When Mueller was a sophomore in high school, her grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. Knowing at the time that Quinn had also been diagnosed with cancer at 6 months old, Mueller said she found comfort and empathy in spending time with Katie Pesicka.
“Throughout the day I would just go to her if I was having a rough time, and she just helped me through that,” Mueller said.
Mueller said she became close with the family as she built a relationship with her teacher and she babysat Quinn and her sisters throughout high school.
“I would hang out with them in the summers — we’d go to the pool and the park,” Mueller said. “That family just became a big part of my life.”
Having grown to see the Pesicka girls as younger siblings, Mueller said it was hard to believe Quinn is only 9 years old because of her strength and courage.
“Being down here and playing for such a great university, I can be a role model and so many different ways to her,” Mueller said. “She’s that person for me, so we kind of just bounce off each other and use each other for strength and courage each day. The friendship clicked and it will be forever.”
After Quinn became ill in the spring, Mueller said she started writing “Play for Quinn” on her arm as encouragement.
“When I get tired I look at that and know that she’s just fighting for something so much bigger than what I am,” Mueller said. “It just really get’s me going.”
Head soccer coach G Guerrieri said supporting Quinn exemplifies the way the Aggie community works.
“We want to be people of high character and high integrity,” Guerrieri said. “And all of those come into play with events like this. Whenever we can help people out, especially when it’s about a kid who is really going through the most difficult things you could imagine, we want to be as helpful as possible.”
There will be a variety of opportunities to donate throughout the game, Mueller said, as well as an online auction where people can bid on prizes like a football signed by head football coach Kevin Sumlin, a signed soccer ball and jersey from the women’s soccer team and basketball tickets.
Guerrieri said he wants a win for the team and for Quinn.
“It’s more than just kind of stepping up symbolically,” Guerrieri said. “I really want us to win this thing. I want her to get true success out of this and for her family — she’s going to have a great day and experience in Aggieland. It’s going to be a dream and I’m excited for her parents, that they get to have people who are banding behind their daughter.”
Katie Pesicka said preparing for the soccer game and the trip to College Station has been a “wonderful distraction” after a rough few months of chemotherapy treatments,
“Karlie has become such an amazing part of our family and all three of our girls adore her and look up to her,” Pesicka said. “We are so excited to support her and all of the women’s soccer team because they have been the biggest supporters of Quinn from the day she got diagnosed.”
The SEC opener will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday at Ellis Field. To donate and bid on items, visit gofightquinn.org.

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