Special coin toss honors Chippewa Valley grad during Night to Fight Cancer game

Posted at 11:43 PM, Sep 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-28 09:53:26-04

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — Out at Chippewa Valley, it's the Big Reds but Friday night, you saw a lot of purple.

That’s because Friday night was their annual Night to Fight Cancer. It’s something that hits too close to home for one Chippewa Valley family.

“It means the world to me. I wouldn’t miss this,” an emotional Duane Klein said.

Klein went to the football game well over a half hour before kickoff. He was there to see the coin toss rather than just the game.

Klein’s grandsons Tanner and Kallen were honorary pregame captains. The two took the field with their father Eric Stevens where he once played football for Chippewa.

That’s where he met his wife Danielle, a Big Reds cheerleader.

Both of them graduated in 2002. Twenty years later, she lost a battle with cervical cancer.

“The community here has always been really forthcoming and really supportive and a night like this, it just can’t get any better,” Eric Stevens said.

Purple was worn and awareness was raised all in support of those fighting or who have fought cancer.

It was an experience to Danielle’s sons but more than that to Danielle’s father Klein.

“It means the world to me,” Klein said. “She’s watching down, definitely watching.”