The Dickinson High volleyball team’s season ended Friday, but the cause they were playing for is far from over. One senior’s family member was diagnosed with cancer, news that helped bring a community together.
At DHS, adversity is not a stranger to the volleyball team. Last season, the program grew closer with Lauren Jorda’s cancer diagnoses. This year, the disease hit another teammate, not directly, but in their family.
“Mom was diagnosed with it, so it really just, it wasn’t something that we thought was coming,” said libero Kendryn Bullinger.
“And then it just happened like that but we adjust and adapt.”
The diagnoses coming in the summer for Kendryn’s mother, Jenn Bullinger, which affected Kendryn during the early part of the season.
“She’s very stoic for lack of better words,” head coach Jay Schobinger said.
“But you could tell when there were times when it was bugging her.”
As the team found out, they dedicated their play towards the cause, which culminated in DHS’s “fight for a cure” night.
“It was a hard night for me actually and it meant a lot and I didn’t realize that, like the community sometimes doesn’t seem like they show this much,” said Kendryn Bullinger.
“But on a night like that, it was truly amazing to see how well our community supports when someone’s in need of it.”
Kendryn’s mom values that volleyball gives her daughter an outlet. The power of sports can get someone through even the toughest of hardships.
“Volleyball is a microcosm of it,” Schobinger said.
“And there’s always going to be somebody that you’ll have to rely on. That’s the reality of it and the people that you’re close to are those people.”
“We really have come together and it’s been a close family,” said Kendryn Bullinger.
“And we’ve been able to pull through and they’ve supported me and it’s been great.”
Jenn Bullinger is through five treatments of chemotherapy out of eight and will find out later this year if she’ll need radiation.