CHANDLER, Ariz. – For the 7-year-old girl who usually spends her days on the softball field, the past two weeks have especially difficult as she spent her time somewhere else.
“It felt good when I got out of the hospital,” said Leighton Accardo.
Leighton plays for the Peaches softball team in Chandler, and was just diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer.
Her family never saw it coming.
“They discovered multiple masses throughout her abdomen, in her liver and on her lungs,” said Carly Accardo, Leighton’s mom. “They started [chemotherapy] the next day.”
So, the brave 7-year-old decided she’d shave her head Tuesday after the boys’ baseball game.
Friends brought signs that said #ShavinforLeighton.
“I’m not scared. My friends are here with me right now,” Leighton said.
And what wonderful friends they are.
Emily and Katie, her softball and hockey teammates, didn’t want Leighton to feel alone.
“Thank you, guys,” Leighton said as she looked at them right before the big moment.
All three girls, while holding hands, shaved their heads together. They didn’t think twice.
“Well, I wanted to be supportive of Leighton, and we’re really good friends, and I just wanted to help her,” Emily said.
And then after the girls shaved their heads, some of the boys decided to join in—more than a dozen of them shaved their heads, too.
“Shavin’ for Leighton” all the boys chanted.
Even her coaches are sporting the buzz cut, too.
And while she can’t play with her team right now, Leighton has a huge team behind her that is ready to help her win this fight.
When times get tough, she looks down at a reminder.
“This is my bracelet. It says, ‘You are strong. You are brave. You got this,’” Leighton said. And she says she will honor this mantra. “I’m brave, yeah!”