Play for a cure

PARKERSBURG – Frontier High School’s Drew Schneider is not only playing for an Ohio boys win in the BACF Basketball Classic Saturday night, but especially even more so to help fund research into finding a cure for the cystic fibrosis his girlfriend Madison Martin has been battling for eight years now.

A case of love conquers all? Everyone hopes, because there’s been no cure for CF yet, hence the Battle Against Cystic Fibrosis (BACF) acronym for the event.

The two high-school seniors have been dating for four years now, and both probably will be attending Ohio University this fall.

But before that, come 7 p.m. Saturday, Schneider – after playing baseball for the Cougars earlier in the day – will be on the court at Parkersburg South with his Ohio teammates versus the West Virginia squad, while Martin will be sitting in the stands among almost 40 family and friends all wearing T-shirts with “SCHNEIDER” printed on the back along with his number “3.”

“We made them for Drew,” said Martin, who also showed off Schneider’s T-shirt that on the back read, “I play because I need her, I play because I care, I play because she’s my everything, I play because I love her, Find a cure for CF, Find a cure for Maddy.”

Martin explained the hardships of having to deal with CF on a daily basis, including “breathing treatments that I have to do and medicine that I have to take, both morning and night, and depending on how my lungs are feeling, I do nebulizers and take different medications to heal the bacteria in my lungs. It’s a lot different than living without it, I guess.”

In fact, she had an infection in her lungs then, brought on by bacteria in them. Plus, Martin takes “six enzymes with every meal to help me gain weight back, and keeping up with them is really important, so I’m not constantly using the bathroom.”

Martin, from Newport, and Schneider, from Lawrence, have known each other for six years now, first meeting in seventh grade, and have been dating since the middle of eighth grade.

For 5-foot-9 guard Schneider, Frontier’s leading scorer the last two years with an 18-point average this season, “ever since we got together, I always wanted to play in this game for her. It’s really important that we find a cure for it (CF), so it’d be amazing if I could have a good game for her.”

Schneider is the nephew of Ohio boys BACF head coach Mark Romick from River High School. “I coached against him for the last four years,” said Romick, “and now I finally get to coach him.

But all kidding aside, Romick said that “playing in this game is obviously really important to Drew, who knows the significance of it, and of course especially for Madison too. She’s a sweetheart and he’s a good kid. I see them all the time.”

Romick himself as well knows “the money that the game raises is extremely important. (Game director) Bill (Camp) has done this for years. This is a first-class organization; everything is first-class about it,” noting that “there are a lot of kids that opt out of other all-star games to play here. And that’s how important it is, not only for the cause, but because how it’s run and everything.”