Lehigh Valley

Roller derby team hosts fundraiser for family who lost wife, mother to cancer

Bethlehem team shows their support for fellow former roller girl from Reading who died of cancer

Roller derby team hosts fundraiser for family who lost wife, mother to cancer

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Roller derby is rough and tumble, but it has a softer side. Friday night, roller girls from across the area got together to help the family of a fellow player many didn't even know.

If you're strapping on your skates and heading into this ring, you'd better be ready to get down and dirty.

"You're just like, 'Boom!,'" said Chrissy Carney, who goes by the name "Chris Catastrophe" in the rink.

Welcome to the world of roller derby.

"I love the ability to get my aggression out with it being legal to hit people," said Jessica Kolnos, president of Two Rivers Roller Derby.

It's not for the faint of heart.

"I am a huge catastrophe to myself, but I take others down with me," said Carney.

But Friday night wasn't just any match. It was "Brawl for Beth," a scrimmage to remember one roller girl who lost the ultimate match -- to cancer.

"I was her best friend," said Crystal Foster, who played with Carson on the Reading Derby Girls team.

Carson, of Gouglersville, Pa., had only been skating for seven months when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

"Beth was a great person," said a visibly emotional Foster. "She was a loving mom, wonderful wife, a great friend."

So the players came, they tussled, and they fought hard to raise money for Carson's family.

"Roller derby is the most tight-knit community," said Kolnos. "We will go out and beat each other up on the track and then we go and hang out."

Carney added: "Most of us have never even met the girl, but it doesn't matter because she's still our derby sister."

They may battle each other in the rink, but this is a labor of love.

"It's just amazing to see all the support that we have here tonight," said Foster.

You can donate to Beth Carson's family by visiting their fundraising page.

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