The second annual “All for Elli” Kickball Tournament, which raised hundreds of dollars for a local teen last year, is in desperate need of help this time around.
Teams of any shape, size and background are needed to make the Saturday, Sept. 20 event at Rec Park in St. Michael another success. Registration for the kickball tournament, which starts early Saturday morning, is set to close Monday, Sept. 15.
Teams can register on the All for Elli website. Cost is $250 per team, which can have players young or old.
The All for Elli Kickball Tournament also features a carnival, games and much more, starting at 11 a.m., or about three hours after the first round of kickball games begin.
The day is set aside to celebrate St. Michael-Albertville High School junior Elli Hofmeister, who was recently diagnosed with Juvenile Huntington’s Disease (JHD). The disease, which is extremely rare in teens, attacks the central nervous and muscular system. The advancing brain disorder results in the progressive loss of both cognitive ability and physical control. Fewer than 10 percent of individuals with HD develop symptoms before the age of 20.
Elli’s family explains her diagnosis, given in 2013, this way:
“A couple of years ago, we began to notice changes in Elli’s development. School work was becoming overwhelming, she was unable to keep up with physical activities, and her speech was beginning to slur. In Oct. 2012, Luke and I decided to attend a local conference about Huntington’s. Upon going, we recognized many of the symptoms they were describing as ones we’d noticed in Ell, and then some. Needless to say, we were very concerned. We brought our concerns to Dan and Kelli Meyer (Elli’s Dad) and we all agreed it was time to visit a neurologist. We waited until after the holidays and in Jan 2013, made our appointment with Dr. Martha Nance at Hennepin County Medical Center. Upon brief evaluation, Dr. Nance ordered a blood test to be taken that day (which is generally unusual, unless they see strong signs indicating Huntington’s) that would tell us if Elli had Huntington’s. On March 6, 2013, we gathered in Dr. Nance’s office and learned what we were hoping not to be true, that Elli does carry the gene for Huntington’s Disease and, in fact, has Juvenile Huntington’s Disease. So, now we know, and all our questions about why Elli wasn’t progressing typically, are answered.”
Prior to the tournament, a special fundraiser will be held Thursday, Sept. 11 at Cherry Berry in Rogers. It’s also the second year of this sweet little fundraiser for the foundation.
Cherry Berry will donate proceeds from sales that take place between 5 and 10 p.m. Thursday night to the foundation.
You can also follow All for Elli on Facebook with updates on Elli’s events, awards and progress in her fight against JHD today and beyond.