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PINE-RICHLAND (KDKA) — A community is rallying around a little girl battling a rare pediatric brain tumor.
They want the 7-year-old from the Pine-Richland School District to know “Team Tessa” is with her, for strength and support.
When Pine Richland High School took the field Saturday afternoon against Hempfield, they did so to the stadium chants of “We love Tessa.” The star of the game was the district’s own Tessa Tarasovich.
Christy Cownie helped organize the “Team Tessa” community fundraiser.
“We’re just out here trying to get the whole community behind her and her family, to support them,” she said.
It was a huge purple-swatched team support complete with shirts and signs, bracelets and bands; even the Hempfield Team wore purple for Tessa. It was a stadium wide “purple out” just for the Pine-Richland area 7-year-old battling an extremely rare brain cancer.
“It’s the least that we can do for the sweetest little girl that I know,” Cownie said.
Tessa was diagnosed with a brain tumor called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma only a month ago. Her mom took her to a walk-in clinic while away from home.
Tessa’s mom told KDKA-TV what first alerted her something was wrong.
“We were a couple days into our vacation and she started acting a little differently and she started having a little balance issues,” she said.
Flowers from football players, an announcement on the field and hugs from all to give strength to the little girl to stay strong.
“[Tessa’s] calling it ‘the big game.’ She is just so excited, so I think she’s just so surprised and just so happy so many people were out cheering for her,” Tessa’s mom said.
The Tarasovich family says thank you will never be enough for the outpouring of support they have received. There are other fundraisers to help Tessa soon
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Tessa’s family pay for treatment. You can donate here: gofundme.com/j7xwx-team-tessa
Visit caringbridge.org/public/purpleforteamtessa to stay updated on Tessa’s progress.