PORTLAND As people sit down at the Thanksgiving table Thursday, many will pause to talk about what they re feeling grateful for.
The holiday has one Lake Oswego family thanking a high school lacrosse team for taking up their cause.
Abby's Army is a lacrosse team that s rallied around Abby Owens, the sister of one of the players.
Abby has neurofibromatosis, a condition that causes tumors to form on her nerves.
She's had 20 MRIs and three surgeries, said Abby s brother Mac Owens. She's the strongest girl I ve ever known.
Abby's big brother Mac assembled the army with help from his lifelong friend Holden Catlett.
It's like a bunch of kids coming together, dropping all their past rivalries and just coming together to play the game we love for Abby, for something bigger than ourselves, said Catlett.
The players come from six different high schools and many have spent years as rivals in youth lacrosse.
It makes getting hit with a lacrosse stick seem minor compared to what she's gone through, said Abby s father Sean Owens.
Abby was diagnosed when she was 1 year old, and for 11 years, the family has worked to raise money for research.
Unfortunately there's no cure at this point, said Sean Owens. It's a genetic disorder and they're trying to figure out what causes it.
The players are now leading the charge, collecting donations from friends and family and getting local businesses involved.
It's just a really humbling experience, that a little girl that has to go through that much and she takes it all like a champ, said Catlett
The team has a goal of raising $10,000. They've already raised $7,000, which to date is the most important victory for the 18 players enlisted in Abby's Army.
This coming Sunday, the Chipotle in Lake Oswego will donate half its proceeds to Abby's Army.