Philadelphia LAX Adopts Member From Friends of Jaclyn Foundation
Courtesy of Paul Gornowski, Philadelphia SID
PHILADELPHIA, Penn. – The Philadelphia University women's lacrosse team adopted Brianna Disney, a nine-year old who was born with a low-grade glioma, as its newest team member through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation Thursday evening.
Team captains Caribeth Shappell, Andrea Saracco and Kalin Hodel made the adoption official by presenting Brianna with a signed team jersey. Then head coach George Chis-Luca gave Brianna the team's first "Hammer Award", the Philadelphia University equivalent to a game-ball, of the season, which Brianna signed.
"It means the world to have the team be so warm, welcoming and accepting of Friends of Jaclyn," said Anne Chaffin, Friends of Jaclyn teams and events coordinator. "The team is off to a great start being an adopting team of Brianna and her mom. The team embodies the love, support and friendship that Friends of Jaclyn is all about."
The process came together, after numerous calls and attempts, at the 2011 National Brian Tumor Society's Race for Hope. After numerous attempts the team received a call prior to the event from Friends of Jaclyn that someone for it to adopt. It worked out that Brianna attended the Race and the Lady Rams went as volunteer workers. Since that first meeting, the team and Brianna traded numerous texts and phone calls.
"It's an amazing feel to have a strong group and to know that someone else is here for you to lend an open ear and help you through rough times," said Philadelphia University women's lacrosse assistant coach Sue Dotsey, who played in key role in this process. "It's not just about lacrosse, it's about working together in tough situations on- and off-the-field."
The Friends of Jaclyn is a 501(c) (3) charity whose mission is to improve the quality of life for children battling pediatric brain tumors and raise awareness for the disease. Friends of Jaclyn pairs up children battling pediatric brain tumors with college sports teams who adopt them and give them love, support and friendship.
Friends of Jaclyn currently supports over 300 adopted children in 41 states in Division I, II, and III college level teams; junior colleges, high schools and professional teams throughout the United States and spans over 25 different types of male and females sports.
The Foundation was inspired by Jaclyn Murphy who was diagnosed with a medulloblastoma, a malignant brain tumor, in March 2004 when she was nine-years-old. Jaclyn's strength and courage, relentless spirit, and joy for life are an inspiration to those who know her. Jaclyn's wish is "for all the children in the hospitals to be healed."