On April 1, 2011, it was official: 2 ½-year-old Malia Dakota Jusczyk's carefree life of Disney World and pony rides, soccer practice and swimming pools, came to a grinding halt. A CT scan revealed that Malia's recent "tummy aches" were caused by a large tumor lodged in her abdomen. The solid mass wrapped around major blood vessels and pushed against her kidney and aorta. A biopsy confirmed that Malia has a very aggressive childhood cancer known as stage IV (high risk) neuroblastoma.
Unfortunately most of us can share a similar story to Malia's, but at least in her case there is a happy ending (so far). In June 2012, Malia was declared NED (No Evidence of Disease). Six years later, Malia's family continues to raise awareness and money for pediatric cancer through their non-profit organization, For Kids' Sake Foundation.
In 2017, the women's soccer programs at the University of Bridgeport, the University of Massachusetts, the University of New Haven, and Stony Brook University, joined with For Kids' Sake Foundation the first ever Going Gold for Pediatric Cancer Jamboree on April 9th at the University of Bridgeport. The event was a huge success with players wearing gold laces in their cleats, holding their hair up with gold hair ties, and playing competitive games on the field. The four programs collectively raised over $11,000 for the For Kids' Sake Foundation. In 2018, Bridgeport, New Haven, and Stony Brook were joined by Bryant University and together the four programs raised over $7,000.00.
This year the event will take place on Sunday April 14th at the University of Bridgeport with games being played between 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM. This year the jamboree will include Bryant University, Stony Brook University, Fairfield University, the University of New Haven, and the 2018 NCAA Division II National Champions, the University of Bridgeport. The goal for reach program is to raise awareness and money for Pediatric Cancer with all funds being donated to For Kids' Sake Foundation. Please consider donating to this very worthy cause and helping more children crush cancer!