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Mom battling cancer finally sees daughter play volleyball; Millard schools unite in support

Posted at 1:16 PM, Sep 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-06 23:37:49-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — UPDATE:

Terri Hagedorn passed away on Oct. 4, 2021.

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The Millard South volleyball team members were wearing yellow jerseys Thursday night. Their opponent, Millard North, donned yellow warmup gear as well.

As did Patriot and Mustang parents.

All because there was a special guest.

“It means everything to me, I love her so much and it’s awesome that she can be here,” said Emily Hagedorn.

Theresa Hagedorn, known as Terri, has been battling cancer for over a year, and has been forced to watch her daughter Emily's game online.

But Thursday, she returned to the gym where she also went to high school and saw Emily take on Millard North with fans, opposing coaches and her team wearing yellow.

“People always compare Millard as one of the bigger school districts, one of the largest ones in Nebraska. But when you see all these giant schools come together to support one kid, one family, it makes it feel like a small town,” said head coach Jaisa Poppleton.

The fans were doing more than wearing yellow; they were buying bracelets, raffle tickets and spending on a silent auction, with all the money going to the Hagedorn family.

“I hope that she feels the love and the support of the Millard South Volleyball family and everyone around her,” said Becky Fleming, who was working at the fundraising stand.

As you might imagine, Emily's emotions were running high before the match.

“I just got to be strong, I want to play the best for my mom, my mom hasn’t seen me play in a long time, so I’m just going to be emotional for a second but then I’m going to be strong for her and just play my game,” said Emily.

Millard South lost in five sets, but the players fought hard — for Terri.

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