One day before the Seattle Sounders played Sporting Kansas City at CenturyLink Field in August 2017, nine-year-old Orlando was diagnosed with leukemia. Thirteen months later the Sounders once again hosted Sporting KC, but this time Orlando’s day was vastly different as he is now in remission.
In collaboration with the Sounders, the Seattle Ronald McDonald House (RMH) and Uber, the Official Rideshare Partner of Sounders FC, Orlando had the opportunity of a lifetime. The young soccer fan and his family were invited to the Sounders match on Saturday, September 1, where they saw the Sounders win 3-1. They even got to meet Alex and Cristian Roldan on the field afterwards.
One year and one month after being diagnosed with leukemia, Orlando spent an afternoon with his family to watch the Sounders at CenturyLink Field. | Charis Wilson
September is Kick Childhood Cancer Month and the Sounders are committed to providing memorable experiences to kids who are battling or have overcome life-threatening illnesses. Families from all over the country come to be treated in Seattle, and the Seattle Ronald McDonald House provides housing and food support for these families to help them get through this challenging time. For 10 months after the diagnosis, Orlando was in poor health and spent most of his time inpatient. Now in remission, the RMH has been there each step of the way, providing support amid an emotional time for the family.
- READ: "Soccer Saved Me, Cancer Matured Me", written by S2 midfielder Ray Saari
Through an Uber NW Community Impact Initiative grant, Ronald McDonald House received $10,000 in donated rides to help families get to and from the airport, attend crucial doctors appointments, and more. For Orlando, it meant he and his family had a comfortable, convenient ride to and from the Sounders match, free of charge. Ronald McDonald House is one of over 45 nonprofits across the region that has received financial assistance from Uber’s Community Impact Initiative in 2018.
Orlando is one of many children battling illness who’s received a unique experience from the Sounders throughout the season, especially during Kick Childhood Cancer Month. These efforts will culminate with a Sounders FC Kick Childhood Cancer dedicated match on Saturday, Sept. 29, vs. the Colorado Rapids.