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Community supports local teen battling rare cancer

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CHARLO — The Mission Valley community came together to raise funds in support of a local athlete and his family during his battle with cancer.

Charlo High School wrestling state champion and freshman Montana Tech Oredigger football player Isaiah Allik was diagnosed with a rare vascular cancer called Pseudomyogenic Hemangioendothelioma. 

Back in February, after battling what was thought to be merely a persistent nagging muscle injury for more than a year, the athlete was given news of the rare cancer diagnosis. The disease affects fewer than 100 Americans annually.

More than 275 wrestlers ages 8-18 took part in the “Fight for Isaiah” fundraising wrestling tournament hosted at the Mission High School in St. Ignatius on Friday and Saturday. Allik even ended up coaching several matches and signing a few autographs.

On Sunday, the band Shodown rocked a crowd of more than 450 Allik supporters during a benefit concert held at the Leon Community Center in Charlo that included live music, a barbeque dinner and silent auction. 

Allik said he was humbled to discover that there was so much support for him in the community. “This is pretty awesome,” he said. “It’s really overwhelming.”

Allik said the cancer has only sidelined him temporarily and has expressed confidence that he will get back on the gridiron again. 

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