Pascack Valley High School lacrosse team ‘adopts’ 8-year-old girl battling brain cancer

PASCACK VALLEY -

A high school girls lacrosse team “adopted” an 8-year-old girl who is battling brain cancer in an effort to lift her spirits.

Delia Mattessich, of River Vale, was diagnosed with a brain tumor six months ago and had to undergo brain surgery in October.

“Devastation and so scared,” says her mother Diane Mattessich. “I didn’t know what was ahead. I didn’t know if she was going to have a future.

But Diane says that the worst is now behind her daughter, and that she is not going to fight alone, after Delia was matched up with the Pascack Valley girls lacrosse team. The match was made by the nonprofit group Friends of Jaclyn.

“Hopefully someday she’ll be able to do all of this,” says coach Melissa Velez. “But it makes you think about more than yourself.

Before Delia was diagnosed with the tumor she was a cheerleader. Now she is cheering for her adopted lacrosse family.

"I look at things differently because she's so young. Don't take things for granted. You don't know whatever is going to happen,” says junior Maddy Carullo.

Delia’s friends and family say that they are impressed with how strong she is, as she goes through weekends of chemotherapy, blood transfusions and frequent stomach aches.

"It makes me feel sad and mad and angry that out of all people it happened to her,” Delia’s sister says.

But working with the lacrosse team has been beneficial for Delia.

"It's so nice to see her happy and see a smile on her face. And they all love her and she loves them and it's beautiful to watch,” Diane says.

The family is hopeful that Delia will be cancer-free by Christmas.

  • New Jersey SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • Your New Jersey Weather Photos

    Your New Jersey Weather Photos

    MurdochMurdoch

    Share your weather photos with us on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #NJWeather.

    Share your weather photos with us on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #NJWeather.

  • 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards

    23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards

    The 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards were held at Barker Hangar on Jan. 11, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.The 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards were held at Barker Hangar on Jan. 11, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.

    The 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards were held at Barker Hangar on Jan. 11, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.

    The 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards were held at Barker Hangar on Jan. 11, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.

  • Aftermath of California mudslides

    Aftermath of California mudslides

    An abandoned car sits in mud following a mudslide on January 10, 2018 in Montecito, California.An abandoned car sits in mud following a mudslide on January 10, 2018 in Montecito, California.

    The deadly mudslides that ravaged Montecito came a month after a massive wildfire drove many residents from their homes and blackened the nearby mountains. With no vegetation left to absorb the rain, the slides came quickly in the midst of a torrential downpour.

    The deadly mudslides that ravaged Montecito came a month after a massive wildfire drove many residents from their homes and blackened the nearby mountains. With no vegetation left to absorb the rain, the slides came quickly in the midst of a torrential downpour.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 5 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login, create an account or subscribe to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."