Joy Break: Girl With Cancer Returns to Compete in Her High School’s Relay Race

By Nancy Flory Published on May 27, 2021

When we turn on our televisions or smart phones we are bombarded with news that brings us down. Where are all the good stories? They’re still there. Here’s one that we hope will bless you.

In November 2019, Shenendehowa (NY) High School senior Yeva Klingbeil was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. On Monday, Yeva crossed the finish line at the 4X1 relay — with a little help from a few of her friends.

As those three relay partners helped her across the finish line, the rest of her teammates swarmed Yeva, chanting her name. ShenAthletics tweeted, “What a great moment to see Senior Yeva Klingbeil at today’s girls track & field meet. Yeva’s teammates help her across the line in the 4X1 relay. Yeva continues her fight with cancer and we continue to be amazed by her spirit!!”

On the website Pledge It, Yeva’s coach, Rob Cloutier, wrote that Yeva was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer that affects muscle tissue. It is most often diagnosed in adolescents.

The cancer started as a mass on her jaw. She began chemotherapy and radiation treatments, but the treatment damaged her brain stem. She now has difficulty swallowing and breathing. Thankfully, her tumor has shrunk to half its original size. “Yeva and her family pray her brain will continue healing and she’ll be able to breathe, walk, and eat once again,” Cloutier added.

On her Instagram page, Yeva posted Joshua 1:9: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”


Nancy Flory is an associate editor at The Stream. You can follow her @NancyFlory3, and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

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