LAWRENCE, Kan. — A charity basketball game at Free State High School turns back the clock.

An impressive group of former University of Kansas Basketball stars suit up again, raising support for Kansas City area families contending with cancer.

“These kids are here to love and survive.” That’s part of the mission statement of the annual Rock Chalk Roundball Classic, which brought some of KU Basketball’s brightest stars back to the hardwood on Thursday night. Children with cancer sit at the epicenter of this strong display of compassion.

Olathe native Fatima Gomez, 10, and her family treasure every moment. Fatima, who is entering fifth grade, is battling small cell sarcoma, which started as a small bump on her left leg. That was nine months ago. Since then, doctors have amputated that leg and started cancer treatments.

“A good day is probably when I don’t have chemo,” Gomez said on Thursday.

Fatima and her loved ones are among those who’ll benefit from this year’s Rock Chalk Roundball Classic. The $15 tickets add up, and the money raised helps families who can’t imagine how they’ll pay mounting medical bills.

“I like how they’re helping our family and other families too to help them go thought this situation,” Fatima Gomez said.

“My dad has to take a lot of time off work as well to help my mom and my sister. That’s been pretty difficult as well,” Mariana Gomez, Fatima’s sister, said. “It’s a big help to our family and to Fatima.”

This is the 14th year of this charity basketball event, which continues to bring Jayhawk alums home to Lawrence — both for basketball and to be a blessing fort those with big needs. Many of the players taking part in this game played professionally after leaving KU.

“I think that’s why everybody continues to come back every year is because it is the cause. Now, having a two-year old son, it hits home even more,” Cole Aldrich, former Jayhawk center, said.

“It lets everybody know you make the most out of every situation. Don’t take anything for granted. Just keep pushing forward,: Perry Ellis, former Jayhawk forward, said.

The Gomez family said Fatima has an excellent chance of survival. Jayhawk alums FOX4 talked with said coming home to Lawrence for this annual game gives them joy because they’re able to help families who are struggling to help their children.