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John Carroll lacrosse team wins state championship for team manager with cancer

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Kate Foster is team manager, and more like a team mom, for the John Carroll Cavaliers, the school's lacrosse team. Source: WBRC video Kate Foster is team manager, and more like a team mom, for the John Carroll Cavaliers, the school's lacrosse team. Source: WBRC video
Kate Foster broke the news of her cancer to the team in January and asked them to win the state championship for her. Source: WBRC video Kate Foster broke the news of her cancer to the team in January and asked them to win the state championship for her. Source: WBRC video
The John Carroll lacrosse team celebrates after winning the 5A state championship on May 4. Source: WBRC video The John Carroll lacrosse team celebrates after winning the 5A state championship on May 4. Source: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

It was both the best and the worst season for the John Carroll High School lacrosse team.

On Sunday, May 4, the team clinched the 5-A championship title. But this season could have been a total loss after the team found out the team manager, Kate Foster, has a rare form of cancer.

One of the players, senior Zach Brooklere explained that Kate Foster is the reason many of his teammates are even playing lacrosse. The team wouldn't exist without Mrs. Foster, he says.

When she revealed the bad news to the team in January, she only asked for one thing: go out and get the championship, and they did.

"Just that's what needed to be done. There would be nothing less for us to do for Mrs. Foster than to win a state championship. To win it for her means the world because she's the reason we are here," Brooklere said.

Foster said when she found out she had cancer, her world stopped.

"They told me I have neuro-endocrine carcinoma, which is a very rare cancer and it is very seldom seen in Birmingham," she said.

It was bad enough telling her son Henry. But in January, she also broke the news to the team.

"It was horrible. There is nothing pleasant about telling a bunch of boys who are looking at you thinking you are going to tell them something great, like, 'The T-shirts are going to have this on them this year,' and it's like, 'No, I have cancer.' And there is nothing I can do about it and I asked them, you go win me that state championship and I said make that your goal, and I said that's all I ask," Foster recalled.

The team wore a green ribbon sticker on the back of their helmets that said "K-F" and 14 to remind them of who they were playing for.

And on May 4, John Carroll triumphed 14-11 over Vestavia Hills to win the state championship.

"When I asked them to win the state championship, please win this for me it will make me feel so much better it will cure my cancer, that's not what it was. It was more, you will have this for the rest of your lives. You will have this memory and this accomplishment forever," Foster said.

But talking with the boys who brought the trophy home, they would trade it all to have Mrs. Foster with them forever.

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