It's been an emotional two years for Cypress Bay assistant girls soccer coach Helena Ioannou and her son, Christian.
Back in November 2011, Christian was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, but through his diagnosis and treatment, Ioannou has done her best to be there both for her son, and her second family at Cypress Bay.
Back in February, Christian celebrated his third birthday and on April 1, he completed his 54-week treatment plan that has included chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. Ioannou says her son's most recent scans have shown no signs of any tumors.
Monday, mother and son were recognized at the Broward County Athletic Association Scholar Athlete Banquet where Ioannou was named the BCAA South Coach of the Year.
“First and foremost, I have to give thanks to God for delivering Christian to complete health and wholeness, and then I have to give thanks to my Cypress Bay family,” Ioannou said. “Everyone from the principal, to [athletic director] Bill Caruso, and [girls soccer coach] Kate Dwyer. They all welcomed Christian to the sidelines and I am just so humbled. There are so many great coaches and everyone coaches because we love the sport and we love the kids. It just comes naturally to me to be on the sidelines and share it with the person I love most in the world. We refuse to be defeated. We were just living life.”
Also honored Monday were South Plantation's Erin DiMeglio and Dillard's Kayla Wright, who earned Scholar Athlete of the Year honors. DiMeglio played football, basketball and flag football for the Paladins this year, while Wright helped the Dillard girls basketball team win its fourth consecutive state title.
Staff writer Dave Brousseau contributed to this report.