Six year-old Azalee Carroll, a student at Chamberlin Elementary, is being represented every Friday night by Port Allen’s football team.
Azalee was diagnosed with stage four Neuroblastoma last year, the day before her fifth birthday.
After overcoming her battle with cancer, Azalee relapsed a few weeks ago and is now back at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.
Azalee’s uncle, Austin Carroll, a senior wide receiver on the Pelicans football team told head coach Guy Blanchard about his niece’s relapse. The coach shared the news with the rest of the team.
“We like to be an open team,” said Blanchard.
Once Austin’s teammates heard about Azalee, they wanted to help and lend their support.
“Some of the seniors came to me and asked if there was something we could do,” shared Blanchard. “I thought about it and said, ‘I know what we can do.’”
Blanchard decided to make the 6-year-old a member of the Pelicans team and family as well as create a special sticker to place on each Pel helmet in support of her cancer battle.
“Coach decided to adopt her and bring her into our family,” said Austin Carroll. “We pray for her every day after practice and after every game.”
Blanchard added, “After adopting her into our prayers, I came up with the idea to do the stickers.”
Every teammate now sports a “Prayers for Azalee” sticker on the back of their helmets. Even the coaching staff wears the stickers to show their support.
“We’ll be wearing them all season until she beats it again,” said Blanchard.
In response to the football team’s support, Austin said he’s thankful for everybody helping and supporting his family.
Azalee’s mother, Amanda Carroll, said “it melts my heart for her to have that much support while going through this trial. As a mom, I can’t put it into words. It just makes my heart happy. They have no idea how much it means to her. It means the world to Azalee.
“She loves her uncle Austin so much. She smiles real big when I tell her how the football team is praying for her. We appreciate the Pelicans supporting and praying for her.”