Health & Medicine

Cordova High, other color guards fly flags for teen fighting cancer

When the color guard instructors at Cordova High School heard that former teammate Kitauna Glover wanted to see their show, it was a no-brainer: They were going to make that happen.

Cordova High’s color guard and the guards from five other high schools put on a six-minute show Sunday afternoon at Kaiser Permanente Roseville Medical Center just for Glover, who is fighting an advanced form of leukemia.

Glover watched the show from a covered walkway over the hospital’s courtyard. Two dozen kids danced and spun flags, prop rifles and sabers to “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction and “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon, ending with the performers grouped in a heart formation, waving up at Glover in her wheelchair.

Glover, 17, has been in and out of the hospital for two years, having spent her fall freshman semester as a member of the Cordova High color guard. When she wasn’t in the hospital, she was at guard practices, cheering on her team. Six months ago, she developed a second form of leukemia on top of the first and has been hospitalized ever since.

“Through it all, she’s been talking about the color guard as one of the highlights,” said her doctor, Kent Jolly. “It’s been an awesome boost for her. She looks healthier today than she has in a couple of months.”

Glover said she was speechless after the show. She said color guard is one of the things that keeps her going.

“It’s the only thing that helps me get out of bed,” she said. “Guard is my second family.”

Jyllian Battle, a member of Cordova High’s guard, said she and her teammates visit Glover often. Being part of the color guard brought them closer as friends. They nicknamed Glover “Kit Kat.”

“We’re like one big family,” Battle said. “We’re together all the time. During our freshmen year, we were inseparable.”

Ellen Garrison: 916-321-1920, @EllenGarrison