4 teams, 2 communities join forces for 1 girl battling cancer

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MARATHON, Wis. (WSAW)-- I asked Maddy Lang what position does she play for basketball.

A Marathon basketball player wears a shirt in support of Madisyn Lang. (WSAW Photo)

"Point guard," she answered shyly.

Maddy Lang just recently returned to the basketball court. The Marathon 8th grader has been battling a different opponent since June 25th, leukemia.

"I don't know if we've really accepted it," said mom, LeAnn Lang. "You do it. You move forward, you have a diagnosis. You can't change it. So what do you do? You fight."

Maddy is more than 6 months into what's expected to be a 2-and-a-half year fight.

"Her battle's been strong and she's beating it. We really, firmly believe she's beating it. And you see the success stories and that helps," LeAnn said.

The Lang's are not alone, as they quickly learned. The whole community has rallied around Maddy, especially the basketball teams.

Shirts, bracelets and stickers have been sold, Friday's opponent Prentice joined the effort. In pregame warm-ups, both schools, girls and boys, sported shirts. The refs, too.

"She's a part of our community, she's a part of our basketball program," said senior Marguerite Stoffel. "So we just knew we wanted to do something to show our support to her."

"We had to do what we can, especially as high school athletes, added senior Clarke Mouw. "We have a platform in a small town like Marathon. We can make a difference."

"This community is amazing, and not just Marathon," LeAnn claimed. "You've got Edgar, you've got Stratford. Prentice. You've got Auburndale, Athens, Abbotsford."

In between the girls and boys varsity games, Maddy was given an assortment of gifts from both teams, and one giant hug.

"She's such a fighter, we're so proud of her," a proud mom said.

Maddy attends St. Mary's Catholic in marathon. If her school raises $2,000, which seems pretty likely, Maddy will get to shave the head of the school secretary.