July 9, 2009
July Football Update With Head Coach Brian Kelly
CINCINNATI – The University of Cincinnati football team has adopted a new teammate and taken on a new mission. In association with the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, 11-year old Mitch Stone has been adopted by the team as an honorary member of the Bearcats.
The Bearcats held an adoption ceremony Thursday in the Bob Goin Team Room in the Richard E. Lindner Center. Mitch was joined by his parents, Dee and Anthony, who are both UC graduates, twin brother Nick and siblings Piper and Paisley.
Mitch, a Cincinnati native who just completed fifth grade at Maddux Elementary School, was diagnosed with a primitive neuroectodermal brain tumor (PNET) in Feb. 2009. He underwent surgery to attempt to remove the tumor, and 31 radiation treatments. He now faces high-dose chemotherapy and a stem cell rescue over the next four months.
Mitch’s family has dubbed his battle with cancer, Mitch’s Mission.
“There are some things in the world that are bigger then football,” head coach Brian Kelly said. “For our players, coaches, and staff to be able to support Mitch and the entire Stone family through his battle with cancer is a blessing to all of us. Our players have already embraced Mitch, sending him emails and posting notes on his web site. It just speaks volumes of the kind of student-athletes we have here at the University of Cincinnati.”
Sarah Walsh, the executive director of FOJ, was also on hand for the ceremony.
“We’re honored to be part of the UC program and its amazing football team,” Walsh said. “The players, coaches, and staff will draw inspiration, hope, and support from Mitch and his family. It’s a great opportunity for us to partner with our first NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision team, and it is great to have UC on board.”
Mitch has handled his diagnosis, surgery, and treatment with strength. Despite his horrible headaches, and a large amount of school absences, he was still able to complete fifth grade with straight A’s for the year.
Mitch also is a Bearcats fan, having traveled to Miami, Fla., this past January to see UC take on Virginia Tech in the 75th FedEx Orange Bowl.
ABOUT THE FRIENDS OF JACLYN FOUNDATION
The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation is a 501(c)(3), non-profit, charitable organization that improves the quality of life for children suffering with pediatric brain tumors and their families. FOJ is all about love, support, and friendship. FOJ matches a child with a college or high school sports team based on geographic location. Once the team and child have been matched, there is a ceremonial adoption.
UC is the first NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision team to adopt a child through FOJ.
For more information, please visit: http://www.friendsofjaclyn.org/