NEWTON, Mass. (9/20/17) – On Saturday, September 23, the Lasell College and Saint Joseph's College of Maine women's soccer teams will join forces in a Crohn's awareness game at 1:00 p.m.
Crohn's disease, a misunderstood illness, has affected both programs, through the Butler family.
Haleigh Butler, senior captain of the Lasell women's soccer team, has battled Crohn's on a personal level for most of her life. Her mother, Sheila Butler, was diagnosed with Crohn's at age 17, and her diagnosis got progressively worse as time went on. Haleigh, personally, was diagnosed with the disease in March of 2015.
In January of 2016, Sheila went into the hospital for what would be a 14-hour surgery.
Hannah Butler, Monks' sophomore forward, returned home to Melrose two weeks after her mom's surgery for emotional support. It was then, that Sheila had fallen even more ill, and was rushed to the hospital, yet again.
The doctors had found an internal infection, and looked to the Butler family with concern.
"This game means a lot to me because a year ago, I never thought my mom would be here standing next to me," said Haleigh.
Sheila underwent yet another procedure to fix the infection, and has since been in positive spirits. She's currently in physical therapy to build up strength, and leans on both Hannah and Haleigh for support and strength.
"I appreciate her so much more," said Haleigh. "She is my best friend, and is an amazing woman."
Before kickoff on Saturday, the Lasell community will honor both Haleigh and Sheila for their strength and battle with Crohn's Disease. Members of the Monks and Lasers women's soccer programs will be around to collect donations to be put towards Sheila's medical expenses.