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Northridge High’s cancer tribute football game will benefit one of the team’s own

By Patrick Carr - | Oct 7, 2021

Supplied by Paul Fresques

LAYTON — This year’s Northridge High football cancer tribute game, where the team pools sponsor donations together to donate to a family or person battling cancer, benefits a woman battling cancer who lives close to the school.

It hits close to home for the football team this year because it directly affects one of their own, a ninth grader named Andrew Doumit.

Doumit’s mother, Vanessa, was diagnosed with a form of lymphoma in August. She received intensive treatment in the hospital for nearly a month and went back home in late September, but the long-term outlook isn’t clear right now, Andrew said.

The donations obviously won’t cover all the family’s treatment costs, but the gesture means a lot, Doumit said.

“Very, very thankful. Incredibly thankful, when coach (Andrew) Fresques told us, and I told my parents and everything, we were incredibly thankful,” he said.

Andrew’s grandmother traveled to Utah from Colorado to help take care of the family’s kids when Vanessa was in the hospital.

“It’s pretty tough. We have a pretty big family of seven kids,” he said.

The oldest in the family is gone right now and the youngest is 1 year old. Doumit himself is 14.

Not many members of the football team know the full story, he said, but enough knew something was up when Doumit wasn’t at team dinners or on the bus for road games. He almost didn’t play football at all once the diagnosis came through.

“I was going to finish out that week of football, then I was going to be done and we were going to quarantine for like the next three months, everybody in the house, nobody going out and doing anything,” he said. “My mom didn’t think that would be good for us, so she said I’m allowed to still come, but I can’t go to team dinners anymore, on away games, can’t ride the bus. When we’re on the sideline, I gotta kind of distance myself from people.”

Either Doumit’s 16-year-old sister or a close family friend drives him to road games, he said. Doumit does online school, and he’s either done that or homeschooling for a few years.

He plays the video football game Madden NFL online with a couple teammates since he can’t hang out with them in person.

Doumit said he told Fresques about his mom pretty soon after the family found out about the diagnosis.

Ever since Fresques has been a head coach, starting at Woods Cross, he’s organized a cancer tribute game.

Patrick Carr, Standard-Examiner In this photo from 2020, Northridge High School football coach Andrew Fresques talks to the football team after a practice.

 

“I really want (my players) to understand there’s stuff way more important than football … I think this where it hits someone on our team and in his situation, I’m glad he’s still with us because when it first started, they were going to pull him from sports, homeschool because she’s going through chemotherapy,” Fresques said.

The Doumit family — the seven kids and Andrew’s dad, Peter, but sans Vanessa for obvious reasons — will be recognized during Friday’s home game against Bountiful.

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