Rallying for Corissa: Rival Teams Join Forces During Scheduled Game in Support of Conley Family

Sasha Bush

The Ashland Beacon


   It truly is a beautiful thing when people come together for the sole collective purpose of benefiting someone else. Tom Vilsack once said, “People working together in a strong community with a shared goal and a common purpose can make the impossible… possible!” 

   On Tuesday August 25, two rival schools, Boyd County and Fairview, joined forces during a scheduled volleyball game to help raise funds for Corissa Conley, a fellow former volleyball player who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at the age of 18. All proceeds raised (except entry fee) during the night’s game and other efforts to raise funds that night went directly to the family to help with the cost of ongoing medical expenses and travel expenses. Together both teams raised a total of more than $2,000 in addition to gift cards and other items that the family might find useful.

   “When we were informed that both of these teams would be coming together and having this benefit game, we just couldn’t have been more proud to be a part of this community. I’m not sure if we can even put into words just how much it meant to us and to Corissa,” said Corissa’s father, Gary Conley. He continued, “Corissa played her entire volleyball career under Coach Lambert, and she also played travel volleyball under Coach Neltner. So, for both of these teams to join together and use one of their scheduled games in honor of Corissa was just something so special to her.” 

   Conley’s mother, Nicole Ann Conley took to Facebook shortly after the event ending and made the following statement, “Most of the time, I’m very good with finding the right words to say. Throughout this journey with Corissa, I have struggled to find the words or to even just talk about the different things that we have been going through. I could have never imagined how much our town, community, teachers, friends, coworkers, coaches, and family would be there to support to us. To use the word support seems so small because what everyone has done for us this past several months has been nothing short of miraculous. Please know how grateful our family is for all the amazing, wonderful, and generous things that every person has done to support Corissa. We truly could not have gotten through any of this without all of you.”

   Conley currently attends Ashland Community and Technical College and just began her second year in the school’s cosmetology program. Conley’s father stated that, “from the beginning of her diagnosis she was very adamant that she would start back to school this year and she did just that.” 

   I asked Conley’s father what the first word was that came to mind when he thought of his beautiful daughter. He declared, “The first world that comes to my mind when I think about my daughter is the word brave. Throughout all of the ups and downs that she has encountered during her fight with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Corissa has maintained a positive attitude and has not let her diagnosis stop her. Corissa is a funny, loving, caring and beautiful person. She loves her family and has the best support system a person could ever have.” 

   Both of Conley’s parents shared that “like most families we didn’t have a clue about what Hodgkin’s Lymphoma was and we sure didn’t expect our children to have it. It is most common in young woman between the ages of 18-25 and for the most part is treatable with chemotherapy and radiation.” 

   Boyd County and Fairview Volleyball teams aren’t the only groups within our very kind and caring community that have stepped up to help the Conley’s through this daily struggle. “There have been other events held for her and we are thankful to each and every person who has given to our family. The Westwood Givovanni’s held an event where they gave a portion of the sales to Corissa. We have had people sell t-shirts to help raise funds for Corissa and our places of employment have even come together and given to our family. Her former bosses at Clark’s Pump-n-Shop had a small fundraiser as well and the funds raised from that event were matched by the owners. This small community has rallied around Corissa and supported the entire family. We cannot be more grateful for what everyone has done along with the prayers and daily support she receives,” stated Gary Conley.

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