McQueen Basketball Tournament Raises Money for Two Disabled Children

RENO, NV - Competition gets fierce at the home of the Lancers. The McQueen community geared up to play in the second annual Staff vs. Students Basketball Tournament Tuesday, and it was all for a good cause. This year's game will help two young girls live normal lives.

It's the pump up song before a big game...the crowds are hyped for it to begin...but it's not just a typical basketball game. Jennifer Marini and Conrad Peterson are full time teachers and care-takers. Peterson's daughter, Lexi has had Rett Syndrome, a neurological disorder, since she was born.

'She wasn't walking when she was supposed to be, she had said some words but then she didn't talk anymore," Peterson, science and chemistry teacher, said. "We travel to Boston's Children Hospital every 10 weeks or so to get treatments for her in the hope that she'll get better and improve."

Two-year-old, Ella Marini, has a rare condition called Transverse Myelitis that makes her antibodies attack her body, paralyzing her from the chin down.

"It's probably affected my daughters more than anything...because they've really had to adjust to a different way of life with their baby sister who now has a disability that requires definitely more time and attention on my husband and I's part," Marini, english teacher, said.

All the travel and medical bills can add up, which is why the McQueen community is helping its fellow Lancers raise money to cover the costs.

"Really, what it opens my eyes to is how wonderful this entire community is and how giving and generous people are and that you find inner strength to keep going," Marini said.

The students took the win this year, 62 to 60.


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