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Boyds, MD., (5/20/20) — At age 15, most kids are worried about high school, sports practices, and fitting in. However, for 15-year-old Ava Guishard, it was about staying strong during her year-long battle with Leukemia.
Ava’s story is one about fighting with all you have; Staying resilient in times of adversity, showing strength whenever possible and bringing light and courage to every situation. Ava is a girl who, when faced with a situation no one hopes to be faced with, has decided to walk with her head held high and show us that we can get through anything that’s thrown our way.
“Ava touched me with her sweetness, determination, fight, and just how she has managed through this challenge,” said Steve Baldwin, Majority Owner of the Spirit. Baldwin met Ava and her family at a Spirit game and has since made efforts to bring them into the Spirit family, inviting Ava and the Guishard family to the Spirit’s matches at Audi Field in 2019.
Ava finds comfort in her passions, like soccer, which has been one of the things that has helped her push through some tough stretches of her cancer treatment. In a recent conversation, Ava said how looking forward to attending Spirit games gave her something to rally for during treatment.
While at her first game at Audi, Ava not only got to meet a few of her favorite players in Tori Huster and Rose Lavelle, but also was able to go with her siblings, cousins, and a few friends who she hadn’t been able to see. Going to the game was more than just soccer. It was about having time to catch up with the people closest to her while enjoying something they all loved.
In December of last year, Ava had to return to the hospital for extended treatment. However, the round of treatment proved to be just one more challenge Ava powered through. Just weeks later, Ava attended the NWSL Draft alongside her dad.
For now, Ava is leukemia-free. She understands this is a fight that lasts a lifetime, but she knows her strength and resilience are stronger than her cancer.
As Grace has written in her family blog, “Seeing her at a healthy weight, off most of her meds and regaining her strength makes our hearts so happy.”
With the NWSL season now on hold, Ava will be getting involved with the Spirit Family in new ways and will be featured in the Spirit’s upcoming online content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Twitch.