The story of the Friends of Jaclyn foundation began when Jaclyn Murphy was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and only given a 30% chance of survival when she was only nine years old. If there was anything Jaclyn was passionate about, it was her love for the sport lacrosse and after hearing her story, the Northwestern University women’s lacrosse team made her an “honorary member”. Later that spring, the Northwestern University lacrosse team won their first national championship.
Seeing his daughter’s recovery as an inspiration, her father Denis Murphy started the Friends of Jaclyn foundation, which improves the quality of life for pediatric brain tumor patients by pairing them up with college and High School teams.
“Everything that they were doing for Jaclyn impacted her health—I know that for a fact,” Murphy said. “I realized I had to do that for other kids.”
The Yankees are going to honor three young children, 12-year-old Ryan Tucker, a die-hard Yankees fan, 11-year old Sean Callahan and 4-year old Quinn Tucker. Yankees such as David Robertson, Ichiro Suzuki, Matt Thornton, Joe Girardi, David Phelps, Shawn Kelley and Larry Rothschild will meet the young honorees at the Hard Rock cafe for lunch. The three children will then sign a one-day contract with the Yankees, get their own lockers and uniforms in the clubhouse and will partake in pregame stretching. Denis and Jaclyn, who has been cancer free for the last nine years, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before today’s game. After viewing what the lacrosse team’s actions did to help, Jaclyn, Denis believes he found the best medicine of all–something more powerful than chemotherapy.
“Nothing—no chemotherapy, no pill, no drug—is more powerful than love and support.”