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‘Team Katie’ coming together tonight at St. Joe

Collectively they are known as “Team Katie” and they will be out in full force tonight as the St. Joe Flyers open the 2014-2015 basketball season against Rock Hill.

“Team Katie” is a group of people who have come together to support Katie Schwab, a 2009 graduate of St. Joseph High School who remains in a coma in a South Bend, Indiana, nursing home after her insulin pump malfunctioned on June 8 causing life-threatening complications due to her Type 1 diabetes.

Wristbands and koozies emblazoned with “#TeamKatie” will be for sale with proceeds going toward Katie’s medical expenses.

Katie is the daughter of John and Tammy Schwab, of Ironton. Tammy is a teacher at Rock Hill and St. Joe cheerleading coach Carla Geswein’s daughter, Madison, graduated with Katie.

“We want to raise money to donate to the family,” Geswein said. “This is a chance for Rock Hill, St. Joe and all members of ‘Team Katie’ to come together to honor her.”

Katie graduated from St. Mary’s College in 2013 and has worked at the University of Notre Dame as a student manager and most recently as operations specialist for the Irish women’s basketball team. Although this is the first fundraiser for Katie in Ironton, members of the Notre Dame women’s basketball team and staff in mid-August hosted a “Team Katie” fundraiser at the Linebacker Lounge in South Bend that raised $21,000. The Irish women’s basketball team had its first “Diabetes Awareness Day” on Nov. 23 to support Katie.

A 5K race took place on Nov. 8 at Rock Hill Middle School to raise money for Katie as well.

Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame’s hall of fame women’s basketball coach, said nearly everyone has a friend or relative who battles diabetes.

“All of us in the Notre Dame women’s basketball family know of Katie’s continuing battle,” McGraw said in an article on UND.com.

Fans at tonight’s game will wear matching “Support Team Katie” T-shirts and a picture will be taken of the crowd to give to Katie.

A web page with updates on Katie’s condition and people’s well-wishes can be found on www.CaringBridge.org and searching Katie’s name. A book in which people can write messages for Kate will also be at tonight’s game.

“She is such a positive person and loves sports so much,” Geswein said. “She is a sweet kid from a great family and this has hit all of us very hard. As a parent it is really hard to accept.”

The game starts at 7:30 p.m.

 

The Tribune’s sports editor Jim Walker contributed to this story.