Hearts are heavy for the USF softball team. The school announced Wednesday afternoon that sophomore Meredith Bissette has been recently diagnosed with cancer.
Bissette, an infielder who has appeared in 32 games during her USF career, has since returned home to North Carolina to be with family.
“I am staying positive, happy and confident through this whole ordeal. I know I will beat this cancer, and that it is just a small bump in the road,” Bissette said in a press release. “I will be back, better and stronger than ever after completing my treatment over the summer. I plan to be back at USF kicking and screaming again come fall.”
Bissette will travel to Boston, MA next week to begin treatment.
The team will be showing their support with on-field displays throughout the season as well as a fundraiser on May 8 to raise money for the Bissette family.
A home run derby will take place at 4:30 p.m. following USF baseball’s game against Tulane. The event will feature a variety of student-athletes participating.
A silent auction will also be held with items donated from the national softball community with proceeds helping the Bissette family.
“Obviously, everyone was stunned by Meredith’s diagnoses and the battle she is now facing,” USF Coach Ken Eriksen said in the release.
“The way she has handled everything has really been inspirational to her teammates, her coaches and everyone she touches. She has been unwavering and so positive in facing this challenge. Her teammates and coaches love her and miss her, and we will do everything we can to support her in this fight.”
The Bulls will hang Bissette’s No. 00 jersey in the dugout as well as using the hashtag #MereBearStrong on social media to show support for their teammate.
A GoFundMe.com account has also been set up at www.gofundme.com/merebearstrong.
“I want to thank everyone for the huge support I have received from friends, family, my entire USF family, the softball community, and supporters through social media,” Bissette said. “I feel like I have the confidence to overpower this cancer and it is thanks to y’all.”