By NATALIE PENALOZA
Nelson Natividad is a bright and caring friend.
He is a sophomore attending Citrus Valley High School.
Nelson has leukemia and is fighting for the second time.
Nelson Natividad was diagnosed with leukemia a couple of months ago and has been battling it ever since. Natividad is a part of the Blackhawk football family. Nelson’s first year of football was with the Blackhawks and he instantly fell in love with the sport.
Natividad was at Loma Linda Children’s Hospital and is now at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. Natividad needed a bone marrow transplant and luckily a match
was found quickly. Nelson’s sister, Crystal Natividad, was a 99.8% match for the bone marrow transplant.
All of the football players have been supporting Natividad from the beginning. Friends of Natividad visit him to see how he is doing.
September was Leukemia Awareness month. Blackhawk football players supported and wore orange ribbons on their helmets, the color for leukemia awareness.
Students at Citrus Valley High School also supported Natividad by making posters for him. The saying for cancer awareness and support is, “No one fights alone!” and the posters often say, “No Blackhawk fights alone!” His family and community have been his number one fans and have been supporting him throughout his battle.
Some of his friends have been fundraising for him, making posters with pictures, and most of all wearing orange for him. Blackhawk football coach, Peter Smolin, created a Go Fund Me page for Natividad (“Nelson’s Medical Fund”). The goal is $10,000. As of Oct. 21, they had raised $7,360. All donors are greatly appreciated.
On Sept. 30, Citrus Valley Varsity, JV, and freshman players, wore orange active socks for Natividad. The Varsity booster parents provided the socks for the players.
Other high schools have been supporting Natividad as well.
Redlands High School football players wore orange stickers with Natividad’s football number, 58, on their helmets.
On Sept. 24, when Citrus played Eisenhower, both teams came together in the middle of the field and prayed together for Natividad.
On Oct. 7, when Citrus played Cajon, Citrus students had an “Orange Out,” where they wore orange. Bracelets were sold in support of Natividad, with all proceeds going towards his family and care. Cajon students also made posters to show their support for Nelson.
All Natividad wants to do is to get back on the field. Even though he will be on the sidelines, he just wants to be on the field.
That’s where his heart belongs.
Editor's note: Nelson Natividad and his family approved and helped contribute to the writing of this article.