“When I found out that I was diagnosed, I wanted something good to come from it…. I said, ‘if there are any young women I can help, I’m going to do it. I have to use this for good.’”
After a weekend of support from 43 other schools, from 14 conferences and 16 different states, Head Softball Coach Melissa Frost achieved her goal of using her breast cancer diagnosis for a good cause.
Frost found out that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer last November and since then, an outcry of support from the softball community has followed her, according to Assistant Softball Coach Sara Kubuske. She said that despite Frost’s independent tendencies, Kubuske wanted to plan an event not only to show Frost that the team was behind her, but also to raise breast cancer awareness. Through this event, Kubuske developed the Faith Fight Frost slogan and reached out to other teams, asking them to be involved by wearing specially made jerseys and using #FaithFightFrost on various social media outlets.
Bellarmine University hosted the event on April 8, after Bellarmine Head Softball Coach Renee Hicks expressed her interest in being involved. Hicks said that her friendship with Frost and support of breast cancer awareness motivated her to take the initiative in this cause.
“The goal was breast cancer awareness for everybody and to just let Missy know that she’s not alone in this,” Hicks said. “There are tons of people all over the nation that have her back and help support her in any way possible….You look at Missy, and you say ‘no way she’s sick.’ But anybody can get it. And she is a great role model for other women who are going through it. “
It was a shock when the University of Indianapolis softball team and community found out about Frost’s diagnosis, because of her strength and independence on and off the field, according to Kubuske.
“When our students found out, they came back and said, ‘This stuff doesn’t happen to Coach Frost. She’s invincible,’” Kubuske said. “I think it’s important for everyone to know that this could happen to anyone, and no one is invincible.”
Frost said that she was grateful for all of the support and the awareness that spread from the event, which achieved her goal of having “something good” come from her diagnosis.
I think the biggest thing was walking into the ballpark and seeing all the people that participated,” Frost said. “My entire life, I’ve given to breast cancer or MDA or some type of cause. I mean, ever since I’ve been here [UIndy], we play on Sundays for breast cancer. And I caught myself walking into the ballpark thinking, ‘who can I support today.’ And now all the sudden, I have people supporting me.… To see all the people rallied around you is an overwhelming emotion, overwhelming gratitude and it was just awesome to see.”
Following the event, many more teams, students and schools have become more aware of Frost’s fight, and spread awareness of breast cancer.
“Even after the event in the following days, we’ve had a lot of people reach out, wondering how she’s doing this week and letting us know that she’s in their prayers,” Kubuske said. “Honestly, the cool thing is, obviously people are pulling for her and supporting her, but a lot of coaches are saying yes we’ve got Coach Frost but also about our team as well. We treat our team as a family and Coach Frost as a family. In fact, they always call her Mom. And even the emails we’re still getting are for Coach Frost and the UIndy softball family. And that’s been consistent.”