Updated: 12/30/2013 3:12 PM
Created: 12/30/2013 3:26 AM WNYT.com
By: Nicole Hart
FORT ANN-- A high school basketball player in Northville who is battling cancer has inspired his school's rivals. The rivalry spans 50 miles but a friendship between strangers that is close to the heart. 17-year-old Tim Monette of Northville, and Chris Jackson a Fort Ann junior, compete against each other on the soccer field, but it was the postseason soccer banquet earlier this year that changed everything.
Tim's soccer coach, Stephen Clapper, told NewsChannel 13, Tim was in the hospital the night of the awards ceremony. It was there, Chris and his mom, Jennifer Jackson, learned that Tim was battling cancer.
"My heart just dropped," Chris recalled, "he's a great goalie, and he seemed like a great kid. My heart just dropped when I heard that."
It was after that banquet that Chris decided he needed to help Tim. After the Jackson family brain stormed with the Fort Ann community, the small gesture turned into something even greater.
"I told mom and she agreed with me that we need to do something about this and help the family out because he deserves better." said Chris.
Jennifer Jackson, remembers her son's reaction from that night and the conversation following the awards ceremony. "It wasn't until we left that Chris and I talked and knew that, what can we do?"
Koozies, sporting both school's colors were made. One side reads: "Fort Ann, Northville United." The other side says: "cardinals in support of Tim Monette- Falcons Keeper 2013."
"All the goals, all the basketball shots and all the homeruns, it really is so trivial when you look at the big picture of what somebody else is going through." said Jennifer. She went on to say, "if we can only help with their travel expenses and their gas expenses and their food expenses and to let them know that every prayer can make all the difference, then that's all we hope for him."
It's a gesture Tim and his family are overwhelmed with. Saying something as small as a koozie has made a huge impact. "It helps my family with everything and then just the support that getting it just feels really good and just boosts my confidence and boosts my mood." Tim also says it means a lot to him on a personal level. "I was pretty happy because they're our rival and that they would do that makes me really happy."
That rivalry now left on the field, in order to lend a helping hand. Coach Clapper proudly says, "I think there is definitely an added element of respect here. I mean to realize that they're willing to step out and help one another and its more that just a game."
Chris and his teammates, The Cardinals, also signed a t-shirt for Tim to show their support and to help lift his spirits.
If you would like to help Tim and his family, you can make a donation to Sacandaga Helping Hands. All donations will go directly to Tim and his family.
To purchase a koozie, contact Jennifer Jackson at: firstname.lastname@example.org.