Leighton Accardo was a bubbly, sporty seven-year-old girl who loves playing softball and hockey. She is a member of the local hockey and softball teams in Chandler, Arizona but this softball season, she was not able to play as she had to stay in the hospital. She has recently diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, something that her family never anticipated as she had always been lively and cheery.
For a seven-year-old girl, fighting cancer can be really lonely and disheartening. However, Leighton Accardo fought off loneliness because her friends showered her with so much support, to the extent that they got their heads shaved together with Leighton.
According to Leighton’s mother Carly, the doctors recently found multiple masses throughout Leighton’s abdomen and she began chemotherapy the next day. “It felt good when I got out of the hospital,” Leighton said.
With the knowledge that hair loss is a result of her chemotherapy, Leighton decided to have her head shaved after a boy’s baseball game in Chandler. “I’m not scared. My friends are with me right now,” Leighton stated.
Because her teammates and best friends Kelly and Emily did not want Leighton to feel alone, they joined her and shave their heads as well. Emily said, “I wanted to be supportive of Leighton and we’re really good friends, and I just wanted to help her.”
A large crowd of children and adults were gathered around to support Leighton and her friends while some of the kids brought signs that read “#Shavin4Leighton.” The three friends sat with each other and held hands as they had their heads shaved. Leighton couldn’t thank her friends enough for their support. With much happiness and appreciation, Leighton looked at her two best friends and uttered, “Thank you guys.”
Not only the two girls showed their support for Leighton. The Peaches coaches also shaved their heads, along with several young boys on the baseball team. They were inspired by Kelly and Emily and wanted to encourage Leighton, too.
With the support of her team and her friends, Leighton does not feel alone anymore and their support gave her enough courage to continue fighting cancer with hope, knowing she is loved by the people around her. Leighton also wears a bracelet that says, “You are Strong. You are Brave. You Got This.” This serves as a reminder that she is not alone with her battle and her family, friends and teammates are always there to support her and keep her happy.
Leighton also said she aims to honor the mantra written on her bracelet and continue to fight cancer with hope, faith and appreciation in life, regardless of what she will go through in the next days.
The brave act of Leighton and the noble support she got from her friends and teammates only showed that unity, humanity and compassion still exist in many places. Though cancer can is a really tough illness to battle with, the seven-year-old girl Leighton did not make her give up. As long as her family and friends are there for her, she will never feel lonely or different.
Did you like the story of Leighton and her friends? Watch this video and see how a whole team supports a girl fighting cancer.