CORTLANDT MANOR, NY, The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation is excited to announce the formation of a women’s elite lacrosse team. FoJ Elite will consist of former college players who will represent the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation to help raise awareness about pediatric brain tumors beginning in early 2013 at the Bump N Grind lacrosse tournament in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
The Team: FoJ Elite Lacrosse
The Friends of Jaclyn is pleased to announce the formation of FoJ Elite, the first ever Friends of Jaclyn women’s lacrosse team. Team Captain Artie Spruill approached the foundation in the fall of 2012 with the concept and has been working alongside the FoJ Staff to make the team a reality. The team roster includes mostly former Division I players from across the US who have opted to play for a cause beyond themselves. Many had direct experience with FoJ during the collegiate playing time and are honored to give back to FoJ.
“I think playing lacrosse for a reason bigger than ourselves will prove to be very motivating and fulfilling. Building this team has been a great experience for all of us. We are excited to get out there and share the mission of FoJ and play with the children in mind,” said Artie Spruill, team organizer and captain.
The roster has grown to nearly 40 players from across the country and the team’s first of three national appearances will be in late January at the Bump N Grind lacrosse tournament in Miami Beach, FL. The team is also scheduled to play in Lake Tahoe, Lake Placid and Ocean City, MD.
The players signed on to FoJ Elite for more than an opportunity to play lacrosse. Each player has committed to helping raise awareness about pediatric brain tumors and doing what she can individually in her own personal and professional network to make people aware of how devastating pediatric brain tumors are. The majority of players have direct experience with the foundation from their college teams and know firsthand how important an organization like FoJ is in helping the children and their families cope through such difficult times.
Spruill laid out the expectations early and required each player to give a personal statement about why being a part of the FoJ Elite team would be meaningful.
“When Bergan Foley brought FOJ to Louisville Lacrosse, we were given the gift of little Emily Beck of Cleveland, OH on my team”, said Louisville alum Danielle Hale (2010), now a senior account executive at CMM Public Relations in New York City. “Emily received her treatments at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, so our team was able to travel a short distance to be with her during her most difficult times. Emily is also from my hometown, which allowed me to spend time with her and her family during my visits back to Cleveland. Partaking in Emily’s journey brought an incredible perspective to the Louisville lax team– while our days of preparation and training were tough, we knew in the back of our minds that Emily was fighting the ultimate battle. I couldn’t be more excited to be given the opportunity to help promote the message for FOJ beyond my collegiate lacrosse years”
Former Northwestern team member and national champion Laura Glassanos Callahan (2006) said “I love lacrosse and know Jaclyn well from my time at Northwestern. I am excited to play but even more excited to play for a cause I feel as strongly about as this one!”
“The fact that these women have committed to help FoJ speaks volumes about what they experienced and were exposed to in FoJ during the college playing days. Being involved with a child who battled a brain tumor is a life-changing experience. We at FoJ couldn’t be happier that these women have committed to this team concept and are very grateful for their involvement. ” said FoJ Founder Denis Murphy.
FOJ currently supports nearly 400 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 medullo blastoma, 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.”
“It is one of the foundation’s goals for Jaclyn to be able to continue to touch people with her story. Her hope and faith that someday there will be a cure, but In the meantime, it is our hope that through Jaclyn’s example, we can help to improve the lives of other children and families dealing with pediatric cancer,” said Denis Murphy, Jaclyn’s father and FOJ Founder.
Jaclyn Murphy & Family
Jaclyn, now 18, is a freshman at Marist College where she intends to study sports communications. She plans on continuing working to improve the quality of life for children battling this insidious disease through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation.
Jaclyn’s wish is for every child with a brain tumor to be able to be adopted onto a team of their own and get the love, support and friendship from their team mates.
View Jaclyn’s Most Recent Message:
Brain Tumor Information
According to the American Brain Tumor Association, each year in the United States more than 4,000 children are diagnosed with a brain tumor. There are over 130 types of brain tumors.
Pediatric brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in children under the age of 18 and children who battle pediatric brain tumors face a lifetime of affects due to the cancer and its treatments including vision and hearing loss, diminished gross and fine motor skills, as well as difficulties with cognitive, social and psychological areas in their lifetimes.
Brain cancer has a lower survival rate than many other types of pediatric cancers, and even with survival the challenges that a child brain tumor survivor faces are devastating and unique.
While all brain tumors/cancers are life threatening, many of the children diagnosed do survive into adulthood. Sadly, they face physical, psychological, social and intellectual challenges related to their treatment, and require ongoing care to help with school and with skills they will use throughout adulthood.
The foundation is proud to be associated with several companies who are backing the first ever women’s team. Apparel and athletic gear companies WaveDog Sports, SCOUT, Brine, Eyeblack, Jolly Laxer, Boathouse, Port Jeff Sports, HustleLAX, Red90 and The SockGuy are all involved in helping the team get off the ground. In addition, the US Lacrosse Foundation is lending its support as well.
“I have seen first hand the positive impact that FOJ delivers. My son played on a team that adopted Bryan Cox, a terrific young man. The impact on Bryan’s life and on the team was truly remarkable. Boathouse is proud to be affiliated with the great work being done by this organization.” Doug Tibbetts, President/CEO Boathouse Sports
To support the team’s fundraising efforts, please visit: http://www.stayclassy.org/events/friends-jaclyn-elite-womens-lax/e22028