'Purple out' for Highlands Ranch football mom with leukemia

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — In the middle of a high school football game between ThunderRidge and Fairview, the dominant color in the stands was not one that either team wears. A “purple out” took place in support of a mom of one of the players who is battling Leukemia.

“I was just given the news that I had relapsed on Monday,” Kristen Radochonski said.

She had been battling the disease for two years. So ahead of her son’s final game as a member of the ThunderRidge high school team, her friends took her favorite color and went to work.

Purple hats were given away to dozens of people in the stands. Players wore purple hearts on the back of their helmets. Cheerleaders from both schools wore purple ribbons in their hair since Radochonski is a Fairview alum.

“I mean the love is just, I don’t know any other word but overwhelming. That’s exactly how I feel,” she told Denver7.

“Really seeing the best come out of ThunderRidge and our community in the face of something not so positive,” head coach Doug Nisenson said.

The main point of the “purple out” was to support the Radochonski family. There wasn’t any fundraising or donating, but instead a focus on what Kristen calls her “Love Squad” and the #besomeoneslovesquad.

“It’s more than the suffering part. It’s people coming together, mending fences, holding hands, showing the friendship, showing the love,” ThunderRidge athletic director Sean Patterson said.

ThunderRidge would ultimately win the game. Next up is Kristen’s battle off the field, fueled in part by the love shown to her under the Friday night lights.

“We’re fighting and we’re hopeful and seeing this just gives you the want to fight,” she said.

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