Scott D. Swoger 0000-00-00 00:00:00
Sports as a Cause There is an old saying that things and events happen in threes. Be they births, deaths or other random events, the theory is that if one happens it will be followed by two more. I don’t necessarily subscribe to this theory of threes, but I have noticed that events in my life tend to happen in bunches - so much so, that I find it hard to write off as coincidence. Such is the case with the development of this issue. Recently, I viewed the HBO series REALsports, where they profiled the story of Jaclyn Murphy and her battle with malignant brain tumors. An avid lacrosse and soccer player, the 9 year-old girl eventually found the strength and courage to battle through her treatment with the help of the Northwestern women’s lacrosse team. The story and outcome were so uplifting that her family formed ‘Friends of Jaclyn,’ an organization designed to help other kids face their cancer struggles with the help of older mentors involved in collegiate sports. Days after viewing, I was still moved by this story and felt compelled to use this space to further the cause of ‘Friends of Jaclyn.’ After all, what better place than a magazine geared toward event owners and organizers to showcase the benefits of mentoring through sports? Further into the production of this issue, I was made aware that we would be interviewing Betty Otter-Nickerson, chief operating officer of LIVESTRONG, with its mission to inspire and empower people affected by cancer (Executive Insights, page 88). Most of us are aware of this organization due to the profile of Lance Armstrong and his battle with cancer. But what I didn’t know was the depth and reach of the organization. As Betty says, “We are a social change organization dedicated to building a worldwide grassroots movement to make cancer a global priority.” How fitting that we would have the opportunity to highlight this organization on the heels of learning about ‘Friends of Jaclyn!’ I then learned that one of our contributors has a son facing the challenge of Lymphoma and I realized that this was no coincidence. To me, all of these events colliding at the same time have led me to this place. Cancer, like sports, is a part of our lives. All of us have experiences with the disease, either first-hand or through someone close to us. But we are not alone. Organizations, such as the ones mentioned above, strive to carry us through the challenges of cancer with their missions and deeds. I am moved by Jaclyn’s story. I am inspired by LIVESTRONG. And I am praying for all children that face this disease. I hope that you, as a member of the sports world, will find a way to join this cause, and others, so that no child has to face cancer alone. Thanks for the pulpit.
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