[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/22/art.jacyln1.jpg
caption=”Jaclyn Murphy, 14, and her dad started the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation to match ill children with sports teams.”]
Clad in Wildcat purple, you’d think she was another player . Jaclyn Murphy, 14, is too young to be a player. But, she’s definitely part of the women’s lacrosse team at my alma mater, Northwestern University.
After being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, she spoke to the team in Chicago. So moved by her story, they “adopted” her. The relationship was symbiotic. The team gave her hope through her medical treatments and Jaclyn gave the team something to play for. And play, they did. I remember watching Jaclyn rush the field when “her team” won their first national title in 2005. And, the ladies continue to win. Jaclyn has celebrated all five straight national titles with the players.
After seeing how she and the team thrived together, Jaclyn and her dad started The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation. It’s an organization that matches up other kids like Jacyln with sports teams across the country. So far, 100 kids have been matched with 300 teams on a wait list.
Update: Watch the CNN.com Live interview