The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School


The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School


The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School


Gold Out KC for St. Jude

The Gold Out football game on Sept. 14 will honor sophomore Clayton Trysla and his fight against pediatric cancer through the Team Up for St. Jude program.
Miles Thomas
In honor of childhood cancer month, Team Up for St. Jude members decorated the school with gold bows.

15 years ago, Kristy Myers-Trysla was notified that her seven-month-old son, Clayton Trysla, was diagnosed with a rare, stage four brain cancer. 

“Clayton was given a five percent chance of survival. They truly thought he would never make it out of the hospital,” Kristy said. 

Now a sophomore at Blue Valley Northwest, Clayton will be celebrating 15 years cancer-free on Sept. 16. After his initial diagnosis, he was admitted to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital where he had various medical procedures, including four months of high-dose chemotherapy, 28 focal radiation treatments and six months of oral chemotherapy.   

According to Kristy, she said that Clayton’s diagnosis was unexpected, as no one in their family has had cancer in the past. On reflecting on how she felt about childhood cancer prior to Clayton’s diagnosis, Kristy said that she never imagined it could happen to her own child. 

“I had a six-year-old, a four-year-old and a new baby, and I just remember a St. Jude commercial coming on the television. I remember sitting there in my family room and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I have to turn this off. This is so sad,’” Kristy said. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think that three months later, I would be walking through those doors with a very sick child who is given less than a five percent chance of survival.”

“It’s just so touching to see so many kids get involved and want to be a part of [Gold Out] and want to make a difference… It’s just so heartwarming to have the support of the younger generation,” Kristy said.

— Kristy Myers-Trysla

Clayton’s older sister, Tatum Trysla, started the Team Up for St. Jude during her sophomore year at Blue Valley North. Tatum now helps lead Team Up Kansas City, the local version of the Team Up For St. Jude program. This program gives all high school students the chance to support St. Jude Research Hospital through different activities and events. Through the Team Up program, multiple sports games have been themed as Gold-Out in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

“October is breast cancer awareness month because everybody goes pink,”  Kristy said. Very few people at that time, back in 2016, knew that childhood cancer awareness month was September and that the color was gold.” 

According to Kristy, she said that starting Team Up for St. Jude was Tatum’s way of giving thanks for her little brother and all that St. Jude did. Not only does the program raise funds, but it also raises awareness about pediatric cancer.

Soon after Tatum graduated in 2019, her other sister Cimone, took it over and expanded the program across 15 different metro high schools. Cimone carried on this legacy until she graduated in 2022. 

“It’s always been our hope that after the girls [graduated], Gold Out KC would continue and it’s still going really, really strong,” Kristy said. “And this is the first year we have Blue Valley Northwest on board, which is just so exciting and wonderful.” 

Senior Amarah Qureshi decided she wanted to help support and fundraise for pediatric cancer by joining Team Up for St. Jude at BVNW. 

“I became involved in Gold Out because one of my close friends, Saraphina Wambi, created the club here at Northwest. It’s been at a bunch of other Blue Valley Schools, but she started it here at Northwest,” Qureshi said.  “It’s helped people acknowledge that pediatric cancer is a big issue going on around the world, and it’s not talked about as much as other diseases. I think it’s very important for people to learn information about it because kids get diagnosed so often, and I didn’t even know half of this information until we started it.” 

Clayton said that the Gold Out games make him feel “super excited and happy” that other students want to support and celebrate childhood cancer survivors. 

Similarly, Kristy said that the Team Up for St. Jude program has had a significant impact on her family and their fight against childhood cancer. 

“It’s just so touching to see so many kids get involved and want to be a part of [Gold Out] and want to make a difference… It’s just so heartwarming to have the support of the younger generation,” Kristy said. 

The Blue Valley Northwest Gold Out football game will be on Sept. 14 at 7:00 p.m. at the SWI-DAC against Blue Valley High. At the game, Clayton and the Team Up for St. Jude program will be recognized. 

“I am really excited. For the gold out game, I am walking with the football team and playing with the band,” Clayton said. 

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About the Contributors
Rishitha Bonthu, Writer
Rishi Bonthu is a sophomore and a writer for “The Express”. This is her first year on staff. Rishi is also involved in girls golf, DECA, Science Olympiad, and Kay Club. In her free time Rishi enjoys reading, baking, making clothes, and spending time with her friends. Rishi looks forward to being on staff and is excited to make new friends and develop her writing skills.
Addie Aadland, Writer
Addie Aadland is a junior and writer for “The Express.” This is her second year on staff. Outside of newspaper, Aadland is involved in Quill and Scroll, Team Up for St. Jude, and girl’s basketball. Outside of school, she enjoys hanging out with her friends and family and going on vacation. Aadland also loves working with kids and babysitting. She is hoping to improve the newspaper as the year goes on. Aadland is excited to be a part of the newspaper staff this year at Northwest. 
Miles Thomas, Writer
Miles Thomas is a sophmore and a writer of “The Express”. This is his first year on staff. Outside of  Newspaper, he plays baseball for Blue Valley Northwest and for Advanced Baseball Academy. In his free time, he likes to workout, hang out with his friends and play baseball. Miles is excited to learn new skills and become a better writer.
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