Rollins Men's Lacrosse Adds Ryder Snow to Roster via Friends of Jaclyn Foundation
|Photo Courtesy of Rollins Athletics|
WINTER PARK, Fla. (Community Engagement) – The Rollins men’s lacrosse team has paired with the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation and “adopted” Ryder Snow, a four-year old from nearby Winter Springs, Fla. for the 2014 season.
The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation (FoJ) was established in 2005 with a mission to improve the quality of life for children with pediatric brain tumors and their families by pairing them with college and high school athletic teams.
Ryder, an avid football and baseball fan (Coach Rossi and the team will add lacrosse to that list in no time), is diagnosed with a rare and incurable brain stem tumor also known as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma or DIPG.
"Some people have gone longer, but they've given us 9 months to a year. I'm not thinking about it. He's happy. As long as he's happy," said his father, Michael. (NEWS10 ABC)
Ryder was given his own locker in the team dressing room as well as other Rollins lacrosse apparel. One of his favorite items was a game worn jersey with his favorite No. 2. The jersey was signed by all 35 members of the lacrosse team as well as the coaching staff.
“The Friends of Jaclyn is an organization my neighbors in Connecticut were a part of,” explained Coach Rossi.
“That was my first introduction. Their son was part of the organization and joined a local Division I lacrosse team in that area. Their family was my driving force and was the main reason I applied for an “adoption”. It should be known, I applied three years ago. I stuck with it because of my beliefs of this organization. I witnessed it first hand.”
He went on to say…“to be able to make a difference in a young person’s life and their family’s life while they go through such life changing events, is a privilege. To think a group of young men, like our program here at Rollins, can make that difference is so beneficial; to all, even these young men. Life is not easy. It sneaks up on us sometimes. No one is immune to it. Its important to teach the other side.”
The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation (FoJ) is a magical story about a 9-year-old girl, a start-up Division I women’s lacrosse team, and a big dream.
In 2004, 9-year-old Jaclyn Murphy was diagnosed with a medulloblastoma, a malignant brain tumor.
In 2005, through chance of events, Jaclyn became connected to and later adopted as an honorary member of the Northwestern Women’s lacrosse team. Jaclyn’s strength, courage, relentless spirit and joy for life inspired the players.
The team began to play for Jaclyn and achieved a magical “perfect season”, winning Northwestern’s first NCAA national championship in 64 years. Just three years after the program started, Jaclyn even predicted the final score, 13-10, in the championship final. Jaclyn inspired the team to go on to win 7 consecutive Division I NCAA national titles.
Soon after Jaclyn shared a big dream with her father - she wanted other children with pediatric brain tumors to have the similar experiences of being an honorary team member. The Murphys understood that it is ultimately the love, support and friendship of others that give people the inspiration and courage to get through this challenging journey.
Courtesy of Rollins Athletics