Jaclyn Murphy

[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

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51 Responses to Jaclyn Murphy

  1. Nicole says:

    That is awesome! Keep up with all the great work that you are doing to help thoes that need it. I hope that the people that enter can be helped. Great job Jaclyn Murphy.

  2. Sarah Walsh says:

    Jaclyn you are the best! You are such an inspiration to so many. I’m so proud to be part of this. My question for you…what is your most memorable moment from your relationship with NU? Another question is what is your vision for FOJ?

  3. Darby says:

    What a GREAT STORY! Using sports to help kids is one of the best ways to inspire! And giving the older athletes something else to work for and fight for really helps give their sport, something that is often a huge part of their life, a deeper meaning. The love and support that this foundation fosters is unbelievable. FOJ has helped me remember that there is more to life, and has helped those struggling know that other people, often complete strangers, are there for them.

    Great job Jaclyn! 🙂

  4. Robyn Snyder says:

    I know Jaclyn and her family through Camp Sunshine (www.campsunshine.org), and they are all truly amazing! Jaclyn is an amazing, special girl who has been through a lot and continues to sparkle and thrive. I know many kids with brain tumors who have been matched with a sports team through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, and they ALL get so much out of it! I know some families drive quite a distance to go to some of the games. Keep up the great work, Jaclyn and Murphy family!

  5. janet schenker says:

    you are one tough cookie to have endured all that you have been through these past 5 years. do you truly believe that you were put on this earth to make the difference in peoples lives that you are making? I DO!!!!
    janet schenker

  6. Sports Barbie says:

    Good job!!!!! You are a great person for helping thoes in need. You really reached out to help people!!!!! Good job!!!!!

  7. Bayly Buck says:

    WOW Jaclyn! You sure do ROCK. But how do you have time to help run your foundation, play lacrosse and go to school?! What kinds of stuff do you like to do in your free time…if you ever have any? Do you want to be a Wildcat player yourself one day?

    Keep rocking and inspiring so many people! We love you!

  8. Kimmy8390 says:

    What strongly motivates you to be part of the women’s lacrosse team even though you are still so young?

  9. Mary Pat Mirabella says:

    I have known Jaclyn and her family for a couple of years and they are genuinely beautiful people – always giving of themselves. I have seen first hand the effects pairings of the children with brain tumors and the team members. It’s hard to say who benefits more, as the benefits to both sides are tremendous. Thank you to the Murphy family for all they do!

  10. MaryKate says:

    What a great story, you’re a wonderful inspiration for all young girls that use sports as a means of going thru life. Keep your foundation going strong. It sounds like you have already helped a lot of families.

  11. Erin says:

    Great Job Jaclyn! There are so many kids out there that need this kind of support – keep it up!

  12. Cristina says:

    I have been lucky enough to have my team be a part of an adoption through the Friends of Jaclyn and my players have grown so much from their interaction with Rosie & I know that it has meant a lot to her and her family. It has been a blessing to be involved with the Friends of Jaclyn program and I want you to know that you are all truly an inspiration. Thank you to Denis and Jaclyn for creating such a great organization.

  13. Sarah Bourne says:

    Jaclyn, what was your favorite part of your first high school lacrosse season?

  14. Judith says:

    I can’t wait to see the interview…you are doing so much to bring awareness to pediatric brain tumors and how kids can keep on being kids! I am so proud of you and what your family is doing and glad that Chase and I were just a small part of it all. Congratulations!
    Judith~mother of Chase

  15. Marissa says:

    Jaclyn, you are so amazing finding teams for everyone!!! I love my big sisters at UMASS!!! I saw you on the video, congratulations, you looked awesome. I hope we can see each other this summer. Keep going, you rock!!!
    Your friend, Marissa ❤

  16. Angela says:

    Jaclyn, you’re truly an inspiration to all those children battling this disease. Know what your doing is changing so many kid’s lives for the better…and it’s all because of you. You rock, girl!

  17. Joe says:

    Jaclyn you have started something that is touching so many lives. It is hard to explain the magic of your foundation. Just wanted to Thank you and tell you I love my adopted team.

  18. Danny Lam says:

    Jaclyn….You Rock and so does your Foundation (www.friendsofjaclyn.org). Everything that you do is so inspirational. You have and will continue to impact so many children and families with your Foundation. Keep up the great work.

  19. Bonnie Rosen says:

    Jaclyn-FOJ has touched so many lives in so many ways. Along the way, you must have some favorite stories. Would you mind sharing one or two?

  20. Me says:

    i love jackie!
    she goes to my school and she is amazing!

  21. Jenna says:

    Pretty good post. I just came across your site and wanted to say
    that I have really enjoyed reading your posts. Anyway
    I’ll be subscribing to your blog and I hope you post again soon!

  22. ATHENA TOZZO says:


  23. The Shapiros (Temple) says:

    Jaclyn…you’re an inspiration to all! Keep on……….

  24. Megan says:

    Jaclyn, I think that you are such a brave young girl! I It’s great that you decided to start the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation to help kids like yourself. You inspire people everyday with your strength and determination and I am proud to be on a team that supports your cause. ! You are truly changing peoples lives. Keep up the great work!

  25. Sammi Robertson says:

    Through Friends of Jaclyn, I was adopted by the University of Michigan Softball team last November. It has really made all the difference in my day to day life and I have made great friends with all the players. We made it all the way to the Women’s World Series in Oklahoma City together! Even though this season is over, I am still getting to hang out with the team this summer and I can’t wait for next season! Jaclyn is also one of my best friends and I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t met the Murphy family. Thanks so much to FOJ and everyone who supports this amazing foundation!

  26. Ellen Robertson says:

    Hi Jaclyn, it’s Sammi’s mom. I would like to know if you really realize the positive impact you have made on the families that are involved with Friends of Jaclyn. We love you!!!

  27. Cristina says:

    Hey Jaclyn,
    I play lacrosse at George Mason University, and we played in a tournament for the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation and my team and i had a blast! I wanted to tell you how inspiring your story is starting a foundation for other kids to have the same experience you are having with the wildcats. I was watching the success of the wildcats because my friend Katrina Dowd plays for them and will be a senior this year! Well, keep bringing them luck, and keep being a motivator to all of the other kids in need!

  28. alice says:

    Hey Jaclyn- As recepients of the benefits of FOJ, we live this program and revel in its success and wide spread popularity-
    Question- Why do you think it has gained so much national publicity in such a short period of time ???
    Why do you think so many teams are wanting to adopt a Brain Tumor kid ???
    Our family is blessed with the adoptions of Lexie (UMASS Lacrosse) and Emily, sibling (Tufts Softball)- Both kids love their sisters and want to be with them all the time !!!!!
    Thanks For everything !!!

  29. Ken Cahill says:

    You are definitely a young peeps that rocks! Looking foward to seeing you on CNN.com.live.

    Bring a friend if you can and enjoy the experience.

    Way to go!

  30. Lindsay says:

    Congratulations Jaclyn! You have no idea how many people you and the rest of the FOJ kids have impacted in tremendous ways! You’re awesome! Many thanks for introducing me to FOJ!

  31. Judith Thompson says:

    Jaclyn: I was lucky enough to meet you last year at the big fundraiser in D.C. You are such an inspiration to me and to so many. I’m so glad that your couraage and your dream has helped to open the door for so many other children with pediatric brain cancer. Thanks for being such a great role model!

  32. Ruth Thompson says:

    Dear Jaclyn: I just want to add my voice to the many others who are celebrating what you, your dad, the foundation staff and all the teams are doing to raise awareness about pediatric brain tumors. It has been just stunning to see the success of your collective efforts. Please know that I stand ready to help in any way I can from my current home near San Francisco. So much more is scientifically proven these days about the power of a positive outlook and the value of a strong support system. FOJ is an amazing example of how very true that is.

    Best, Ruth Thompson

  33. Michael B says:

    Jaclyn, I’ve known your dad for years and I know how proud he is of you and I hope you are equally proud. Hope you continue to be an inspiration.

  34. FromToledo says:

    FOJ and Jaclyn herself are great stories! Very inspirational! Both my sons have brain tumors and were recently adopted through FOJ. What a great experience. Keep going strong! You and your family and FOJ are doing amazing things for brain tumor awareness!

  35. Danny says:

    Jaclyn, Thanks to your Foundation, my daughter (Devon) who lost her battle with cancer this past December was able to experience love, support, and friendship. The bond between my daughter and her team (Temple University LAX) was incredible. Thanks for giving her quality of life. Keep on Rocking.

  36. Rosann says:

    Jaclyn! I loved watching your segments on CNN and ABC! I am in awe at the number of lives you are continuing to touch, including those with and without a bt family member. Your story reaches into the hearts of ALL, helps to bring huge smiles and to make us all better people. Not to mention, most importantly of all, the MAGIC it has done for bt children! But, your natural poise at speaking in front of all those cameras (at age 13!) really tells us that, as your dad said, you were meant to be a huge inspiration to all. FOJ is a special gift to everyone, and you, along with Taryn and your parents, are clearly rockin’ it out!!! What would be your one wish for FOJ that you would love to see happen, I guess as a goal for your remarkable and critical foundation? How can we and the media help you achieve that goal? I very greatly admire you, girl!! Enjoy the summer and keep rockin’ it out!!!!

  37. Heidi says:

    Thanks so much to you and your family for all that you do. You have touched so many lives through your amazing work. Can you tell me how children / families and colleges contact FOJ if they are interested in becomming a part of the Friends of Jaclyn Program?
    You Rock!
    Love you, Heidi

  38. Lex says:

    …I cant wait to see you this summer at Green Vale camp …I need some work on my behind the back shot…..you better be helping me girl 🙂 See you soon!

  39. Marianne says:

    Jaclyn and Family, Thank you for spreading hope and awareness on behalf of all the children and families battling brain tumors.

  40. Amy says:

    Jaclyn you’ve inspired so many people without even knowing it! What you’ve done and accomplished in such a short time is so cool! And you rock. Obviously. What were some of your favorite parts about playing lax for your high school team?

  41. Doug S says:

    My daughter, Paige, was adopted by the Johns Hopkins Women’s Lacrosse program last year. We met the team in October 2008 at their Bull Roast and was welcomed wholeheartedly as a member of the team. Our relationship lasted throughout the season and has extended into the summer. The women on the team, the coaches and even the player’s families have all been amazing.

    I want to thank Jaclyn and her family for starting this program. I’ve always said, my daughter getting a brain tumor has been the most horrific thing that I’ve ever endured, but through it, I’ve met some wonderful people – people who I’ll always cherish. Jaclyn, you and your family are some of those people – you’ve opened the door and given us the opportunity to meet a whole team and extended family of more of those people. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  42. christine says:

    Jaclyn and her family have already brought such happiness to so many families dealing with this devastating diagnosis, and they continue to do so. Amazing!

  43. Jenny from Brine says:

    Hey Jaclyn –

    I’m so proud to be a part of FOJ and want to continue to help to find new ways to grow awareness. You are an amazing person with an amazing and supportive family.

    My question to you is, what’s the significance of the elephant in the FOJ logo? I love it and think the colors definitely look great, but was just wondering where it came from.


  44. Jo says:

    Hey Jaclyn!

    Congrats on making such a positive impact on so many people! This program has enriched the lives of so many children and adults – you must be very proud!

    You have been an inspiration to so many people – I would like to know who some of your personal heros are and who inspires you!

    Good luck for the future, I am looking forward to seeing this program grow!

    Way to go girl!!

  45. Andrea - Temple lacrosse says:

    Thanks to your courage and the FOJ foundation you have taught the lacrosse world how to incorporate charity and service into the sport. Your mental, physical, and emotional strength are an inspiration. I am so glad that I got a chance to become friends with the Lam family through Friends of Jaclyn.

  46. Malcolm Buxton says:

    Jaclyn!!! YOU ROCK!!!! You are my hero and favorite Northwestern Wildcat 🙂
    What is your favorite music???

  47. Red Giovanucci says:

    you have been my little hero since my cousin Kelly A-H and her team adopted you. I have followed everything about you from the start. Now my daughter, Ryan, plays lacrosse for UMass and they have their own beautiful Lexie as their adopted child who Ryan adores. Thank God for FOJ.

    Your leadership and courage are an inspiration to us all!!

    HOW DID YOU PICK THE CORRECT FINAL SCORE of THE CATS 1st NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP??? Right then and there I knew you were something special!!

    Rock on sister!!!

  48. Dot says:

    Jaclyn I came by your website by seeing a segment on CNN Headline News a little over a month ago. My grandson had recently been diagnosed with a brain tumor, most of it was removed, and he is now starting treatment at St Jude. I submitted my granson’s info and I know that Heidi recently contacted my daughter. I am hoping that he will be a part of this wonderful program. I have wanted so strongly to get involved in something like this ever since we found out about our grandson. I would love to know how you started the foundation and also if there is any way for me to get involved. We live in Nebraska and that is where my grandson, daughter, and son-in-law are from. We are not real wealthy and miss them so much. We are hoping to get to go see them as they are expected to be gone for 6 mos at least. Do you know of any organization who helps families with travel and lodging at least for one visit. Thank you for what you are doing…it is such a positive thing to get involved in helping others while you also are going thru this unimaginable journey. God Bless you and your family!!!!

  49. Ashley Gersuk says:

    Jac – you are such a rock star!!! We’ve known you were big time all along but now the world knows. You continue to inspire me every day and I am so proud to be a part of FOJ. You had big dreams for the Foundation, but could you ever have imagined this…100 adopted kids, 300 teams waiting, National News…? Can’t wait to see you soon. Love you girl!

  50. Aly says:

    Jaclyn I love you!!! You are such an inspiration to so many people. You kept me going through the lacrosse season and you made me love the game even more. You have more drive and determination than anyone I have ever known!!!! You are AMAZING!!!!!!!

  51. anonymousss says:

    awwwee! you rock jaclyn!

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