'Turn It Gold' night at high school football game raises money and awareness for childhood cancer

ByJoseph Gleason KTRK logo
Friday, September 8, 2023
Stratford HS decks out in gold for childhood cancer awareness month
For childhood cancer awareness month, Stratford High School hosted "Turn It Gold" night at its football game to honor those battling the disease.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- September is childhood cancer awareness month. Gold is the symbol for all types of cancers affecting children and adolescents.

On Thursday night at Tully Stadium, Stratford High School hosted "Turn It Gold" night for the second year in a row.

Spartans played the Alief Hastings Bears, but gold filled the air.

The football team wore ribbons on their helmets and the band wore them on their instruments.

"It's a teachable moment for all of our players to know what's going on out there in the real world," Stratford Head Football Coach Todd Rankin said. "We teach a lot of life lessons this week for sure."

Between the first and second quarters, there was a ceremony recognizing 12-year-old Scarlett Filippov of Spring Forest Middle School. She was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in April and is in remission after her first month of intensive treatment.

SEE ALSO: Childhood cancer survivor now a doctor at hospital that saved her life

Stratford freshman Kaden Pointer, whose brain cancer has been in remission for three years after two years of chemo and 12 surgeries, was unable to attend the ceremony due to medical appointments earlier in the day.

The last one to be honored was Miles Hartz, who was part of the Stratford family.

Miles was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. He fought with courage and strength for five years before passing in June.

"For five years, until the last few days of his life, we had faith we were going to cure his disease," Miles' dad David Hartz said. "That faith came from his hope and his personality, and that kinda went up. We fed off that love and care for one another. It gave us the opportunity to be his parents, which was the greatest honor of our lives."

Proceeds from the night will be donated to "Miles of Hope Osteosarcoma Fund."

"Turn It Gold" foundation also presented the Hartz family with a $20,000 check in honor of Miles to fund and support targeted osteosarcoma research and clinical trials.

"There are about 400 children a year that are afflicted with that disease (osteosarcoma)," Hartz said. "And there is not near enough research going into a cure which has not been advanced in over 40 years. Unfortunately, if you are diagnosed and the first-line treatment doesn't work, the outcome is generally not very good for that."

Hartz went on to point out that the Memorial and West Houston community creating advocacy and support for a family and advancing research and donations is extremely important to the society we live in and osteosarcoma patients as well.

If you'd like more information on the Miles of Hope Osteoscarma Fund, you can visit their website.

SEE ALSO: Walkers wanted to help support childhood cancer families at 2023 Candlelighters Fun Walk

Andrew was only 3 years old when he was diagnosed with cancer. His mom said Candlelighters helped bring her family hope in the midst of so many fears and questions in the Texas Medical Center.