WEST TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Last week Carlea Funk got some life changing news. During a routine team physical the West Vigo sophomore was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. As you can imagine the news came as a shock.
“I was upset but I knew that sectionals was this week so I knew what I really needed to focus on and after high school season that’s when I was going to recover and I’m going to get better,” she said.
Going through a softball season can be challenging enough but Carlea noticed a change in how she was feeling. “I just haven’t been that energetic like I’ve just been tired and drowsy all the time but then we got the results back and I’m just ready to get better be more energetic and be the best I can,” she said. Carlea will have her thyroid removed and radiation afterwards. For a parent it’s among the worst news to process.
“The worst thing I’ve ever heard in my life and immediately I just wanted to trade places with her all the kid wants to do is play ball since she’s five it’s all she’s wanted to do,” said Lea Ann Funk, Carlea’s mom.
“Dr. Pickerell probably saved Carlea’s life and I’ll forever be grateful for him who knows if we would have found it so everybody sports physicals every year,” she added.
The next step will be an appointment with doctors on Friday as they chart a path to recovery. Head coach Chris Nidiffer feels Carlea’s strength will help her power through. “She’s a fighter and she’s got a strong you know not just her own family you know but we’re all a family so the softball family here the community it’s been big she’s going to be OK,” Nidiffer said.
Carlea has her family and teammates to rely on as she prepares for what’s to come. “My mom and my dad give me so much motivation they always believe and push me to be the best person I can and softball and the seniors just gave me the motivation that we’re going to do this,” she said. Carlea returns to action with the Lady Vikings in a regional home game on Tuesday May 31st.