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Bismarck High School soccer team goes gold for childhood cancer
BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - In February 2014, the Ohlsen family got news that would forever change their lives.
Seven-year-old Dash Ohlsen was diagnosed with leukemia. He spent the next three and a half years in treatment.
The good news: Dash is now a healthy 14-year-old, three-sport athlete. He’s been cancer-free for four years.
But his cancer battle forever changed his family.
Now, they’re using that experience to educate and raise awareness about childhood cancer.
This is a moment Kara and Taner Ohlsen have dreamed about for years.
“It’s a special night,” said Taner, as he put up a gold flag at the MDU Resources Community Bowl.
This is a rivalry game: Bismarck High versus Century. It’s also Brave the Shave night.
“As cancer parents ourselves we are always excited to get awareness out there and to see some gold in the community,” said Kara.
Their son Dash was diagnosed with leukemia in February of 2014. He was in first grade.
“It was a hard thing to go through,” Kara admitted.
Today, Dash is a healthy, strong teenager. Right now, he is busy playing junior varsity soccer for the Demons, alongside his older brother, Chaz.
“They’re side by side on the field and it’s really incredible,” said Kara.
“He is so healthy,” added Taner. “We just went to his four year follow up and his oncologist called him boring, which is exactly what you want to be.”
There’s nothing boring about this game. On this night, the Demons varsity team donned gold jerseys and special socks in honor of Dash and kids everywhere battling cancer.
“September is childhood cancer awareness month, and it’s something we’ve always wanted to see,” explained Taner. “We’ve always wanted to go gold in September; gold is the color of childhood cancer.”
It’s the first time a high school team has held a childhood cancer awareness night.
“It’s a night that we’ve always wanted,” said Taner.
Players know how special this is.
“It’s really cool,” said Owen Haase, BHS senior and team captain.
“Soccer is not just a game. It can expand into more than that,” added Isaac Barth, BHS senior and team captain.
The Ohlsens hope this night might expand to other schools. And one game at a time, they can raise awareness about childhood cancer.
The Ohlsens say they’d love to have more schools hold childhood cancer nights at their athletic events.
If you’d like to learn more about how to do that, visit bravetheshave.net. You’ll find Taner’s contact information there.
By Jody Kerzman
Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 2:14 PM CDT