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Teen cancer survivor scores winning shot in final high school basketball game in emotional moment

Elardo stood at the three-point line for the shot and the moment she threw the ball, she knew it was a winner. 

Teen cancer survivor scores winning shot in final high school basketball game in emotional moment
Cover Image Source: YouTube | ABC News

For 17-year-old Rocky Elardo, January 27 was one of the best days of her life. After a year battle with cancer, the teenager scored a game-winning shot at Heritage High School in Leesburg, Virginia. That's what got her team the victory against Rock Ridge High School, as reported by GoodMorningAmerica. “I was actually very stressed out,” said Elardo, a high school senior and member of the girls' varsity basketball team. She added that she didn't want to make the shot first but did it when her teammate asked her to do it. Elardo stood at the three-point line for the shot and the moment she threw the ball, she knew it was a winner. 



 

 

“Sometimes when you shoot the ball, the way it comes off your fingers, you can feel it, like it just felt right,” Elardo said. The crowd cheered as soon as the shot was made and for Elardo, all of it felt like a “serotonin rush.” This emotional moment was shot on camera by Elardo's assistant coach, Ariel McKinney and it was a precious moment for Elardo, who was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma in 2019. McKinney shared that despite going through treatment and doctor's appointments, Elardo would be present at every practice in the last 4 years "that she can physically be at, in every game with a positive outlook, not just on the game but on life," he said. He called Elardo "a rock" that the whole team leans on. 

According to National Cancer Institute, Ewing sarcoma forms mostly in the bones and soft tissues. It is said to be most common in adolescents and young adults. Moreover, these tumors are cancerous and detected after a biopsy. Throughout Elardo's high school years, she went through several treatments which limited her participation on the basketball team despite being part of it for the last four years. “I did chemo my freshman and sophomore year, and then radiation my junior year, and then I've just gotten surgeries my freshman and senior year to remove cancer,” Elardo said.



 

 

Elardo's doctors informed her there was "no evidence of disease,” so she was allowed to play on the game day. Talking about her, McKinney said that she deserved all the spotlight that day. “She's just an amazing human being that has inspired all of us in every way possible,” McKinney said.



 

In another story, the entire family, including kids, got their heads shaven at a barber shop when a loved one was diagnosed with breast cancer. They all have a smile on their face as they sit in the chair one after another to show support for breast cancer awareness. At the end of the video, each of them can be seen going and hugging the woman they did this for. The video has background music of "Rise Up" by Andra Day, which just matched the video.



 

 

Several people joined in the comments to share their own stories and applaud the family for supporting the woman in the best way possible. A TikTok user, Terri Katharyn, commented, "I always told my mama that I would do this with her & she wouldn’t let me. Now it’s been almost 4 mo without her and I miss her every day." Another user, Avaguciardo, added, "This is so genuine and you can tell how much they care for each other love to see it." User @ooohwelpitbelikethat, said, "I cried right away! Prayers to you and your family. This is very beautiful stay strong."

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