Stucky Strong: South Beloit boys’ basketball team rallies behind Stucky family

Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 10:50 PM CST
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SOUTH BELOIT, Ill. (WIFR) - Kinnikinnick schools speech pathologist Melissa Stucky is battling cancer for the second time but she knows she’s not alone in this fight.

In December 2018, Melissa was first diagnosed with breast cancer. The initial scare turned to relief when she was declared cancer free the following June.

“I had done all the treatments, all of the checkups. Everything was great,” says Melissa. “I kind of took control of my health after that.”

Melissa thought she would never have to endure something like this again until she participated in a free health screening in January that she initially didn’t want to go to.

“Something was telling me to get it done and I’m so thankful that I did because we wouldn’t be where we are right now.”

The cancer came back. This time it was spreading to her liver.

“It was difficult the first time but, in a way, it wasn’t as difficult as it is now because last time there was an endpoint. Now there’s no endpoint.”

But it’s clear Melissa is not alone in this fight. All you have to do is check out a South Beloit boys’ basketball game where Friday the team wore pink in her honor.

“He says not to make it a distraction, but we want to do stuff like we want to win for her,” says senior guard Blake Ayotte.

“It’s overwhelming to think about the support and the love that we’ve gotten from everybody,” says Sobos Head Coach Matt Stucky.

Melissa’s husband Matt is preparing the Sobos for its sectional semi-final game Wednesday. The team is using Melissa’s cancer battle not as a distraction but as motivation.

“I’ll make sure we’re prepared. This won’t change how we attack the season,” says Matt.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the Stucky family with medical expenses and it’s raised more than $46,000 of its now $60,000 goal since it was created in mid-February.