Gold Medalist raises spirits, funds for E-W wrestler
Last updated 4/11/2019 at Noon
U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist Helen Maroulis and the wrestling community came together in show of support for Edmonds-Woodway wrestler Emily Hood, who is battling a rare childhood brain cancer.
Maroulis, the first U.S. woman to win an Olympic wrestling gold medal, shared her vast knowledge of the sport during a free clinic that was attended by 120 wrestlers from across the state Saturday, April 6, at Edmonds-Woodway High School.
At the end of the two-hour clinic, Maroulis announced that more than $10,000 was donated by attendees, their families and supporters of the Hood family.
This week Hood, 17, wrapped up radiation treatment for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), an extremely rare childhood cancer that affects about 300 children in the United States each year. Hood was diagnosed with the inoperable tumor on her brain stem in February. She will be taking a four-week break before starting on further treatment.
On Friday, Maroulis came straight from the airport to surprise Hood at her radiation appointment. Later that day, the 2016 Olympian gave Hood her World Championship singlet and had dinner with the Hood family. Maroulis then passed around her gold medal for everyone to see.
Edmonds-Woodway boys wrestling coach Brian Alfi initially helped arrange what was going to be a visit from Maroulis, who then suggested that they put together a fundraiser.
After Saturday’s clinic/fundraiser, the local chapter of Make-A-Wish hosted a party at the Hood home where the organization presented the family with a trip to Paris. The Hoods then spent Sunday showing Maroulis some of the sights of the Seattle area.
A GoFundMe account to support the Hood family has been established at: https://ca.gofundme.com/help-emily-hood. Additional updates can be found on the Facebook group Emily’s Army at: https://www.facebook.com/EmilysArmyFightLikeEm/.