In September, Sounders FC set out to inspire kids and families battling cancer. For 30 straight days, childhood cancer awareness was an organizational priority as representatives from virtually all Sounders FC stakeholders – players, coaches, staff, supporters, and community and corporate partners – joined kids and families in their battles against cancer.
- READ: Sounders FC 30 in 30
Brad Evans stood shoulder to shoulder with Sounders FC Honorary Team Captain, Isiah Waiters. Alliance Council members teamed up with Make-A-Wish Foundation to rally Sounders FC supporters for a wish trip send-off that Madisen will never forget. Taylor Graham, joined by Sounders FC Academy players, walked for wishes and the opportunity to provide hope, strength and joy to future wish recipients.
Reign FC stars Beverly Yanez and Lauren Barnes partied in The Ninety with Austen Everett Foundation youth honorees. Sounders FC and Seattle Children’s Hospital were Strong Against Cancer. Sounders FC community outreach team member Katie Pendleton donated her hair to Wigs for Kids. And I found out what it means to be #Loganstrong.
Each of these experiences led to countless smiles and equally as many high fives – just ask three-year-old and high five master, West Mayszak. But inspiration was not only reserved for kids like West, who had an opportunity to meet their heroes through 30 in 30. The true heroes are West and Isiah. And Bar, Alexis, Madisen, Meghan, Logan, Michael, Bella, Mason, Connor, and all the other kids in Seattle who have courageously battled or are battling cancer. Also inspirational are the support systems for these children – families doing everything possible to help loved ones and the institutions dedicated to saving lives.
Even though Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is behind us, the spirit of 30 in 30 lives on in each of the participants. This spirit is rooted in the relationships we have forged in the last month and the friends we have made. I now see courage, hope and strength in every high five.
A special thanks to the following organizations for joining Sounders FC in 30 in 30: Austen Everett Foundation, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, Seattle Ronald McDonald House, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Seattle Reign FC, Starfire Sports, Sunshine Kids Foundation, The Goodtimes Project and Washington Youth Soccer’s Soccer for Success program.