SWARTHMORE, Pa. - The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation is a non-profit organization that works to improve the quality of life for children and families dealing with pediatric brain tumors. Jaclyn Murphy and her family founded the organization, inspired by Jaclyn’s experience as a nine-year-old cancer patient. The foundation matches children with a sports team, followed by a ceremonial adoption.
The 2009 Swarthmore women’s soccer team adopted Tessa a 13 year old girl whose twin brother was a victim of a pediatric brain tumor. She experienced several tough years during her childhood, spending a lot of time in hospitals with her family. Now, as a young teen, Tessa enjoys music, drawing, writing poetry, and spending time with her friends. This fall, Tessa was presented with Swarthmore soccer gear and her own locker in the team locker room. She joined the team on the bench during several of their home and away games, spending time getting to know the players. Early in the season, the team held a tie-dye event for Tessa, where everyone made matching shirts. Tessa also participated in the team’s “Manic Monday” practice, when the players dress in the tackiest outfit they can put together and play fun soccer games. The team is looking forward to continuing and developing their relationship with Tessa in years to come.
The 2009 Swarthmore women's soccer team also recently held their fifth annual free soccer clinic in conjunction with Youth Soccer Month for nearly 110 local girls from the surrounding communities. The clinic included stations in fundamental soccer skills (passing, dribbling, shooting, etc.) as well as a station where the girls worked on speed and agility and another station touting the importance of academics to a well-rounded athletic experience. Girls both big and small thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to connect through a sport they love.