Wednesday, June 18, 2014

HOPE Week: Friends of Jaclyn

HOPE Week continued today with the New York Yankees organization showcasing Jaclyn Murphy who has been battling cancer since nine years old. Here is the writeup from the Yankees regarding Friends of Jaclyn:

Jaclyn Murphy was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and given a 30 percent chance of survival when she was only nine years old. When the Northwestern University women’s lacrosse team learned about what Jaclyn was going through and about her passion for lacrosse, the Wildcats “adopted” her as an honorary member of the team. Later that spring, Northwestern won its first-ever national championship.
Seeing how much it meant to his daughter’s recovery to be part of a national championship team, Denis Murphy knew what he had to do next.
“Everything that they were doing for Jaclyn impacted her health—I know that for a fact,” Murphy said. “I realized I had to do that for other kids.”
Thus began Friends of Jaclyn, a foundation created to improve the quality of life of pediatric brain tumor patients by pairing them with collegiate and high school sports teams. One such child is 12-year-old Ryan Tucker, a diehard Yankees fan who began his battle with cancer when he was only 3 years old. Tragically, Ryan’s 4-year-old cousin, Quinn, is also battling cancer and has already undergone two surgeries in addition to chemotherapy treatment.
“We strive to create relationships that provide love, support and friendship,” said Friends of Jaclyn executive director, Erin Perkins. “These children are nothing but loved by their teammates. Being adopted, in many cases, will be their only chance to be part of a team.”
Friends of Jaclyn celebrated its 500th adoption this May. Even though his daughter has been cancer-free for nine years, Denis Murphy continues to selflessly devote all of his time to the foundation. Having witnessed what the Northwestern women’s lacrosse team did for Jaclyn during her darkest days, he believes he has discovered the best medicine of all.
“Nothing—no chemotherapy, no pill, no drug—is more powerful than love and support.”

Joe Girardi, Ichiro Suzuki, David Robertson, Shawn Kelley, David Phelps, Matt Thornton, and Larry Rothschild surprised the honorees with lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe. The Yankees also held a press conference to introduce 12 year old Ryan Tucker, 11 year old Sean Callahan, and 4 year old Quinn Ostergren who signed one day contracts with the team. They would receive uniforms, clubhouse lockers, and joined the teams for the pregame stretching. Awesome.

Denis Murphy and Jaclyn will throw out the ceremonial first pitch tonight.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)