The Oglethorpe University Women’s Soccer Team and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) recently held a Childhood Cancer Awareness Month fundraiser at a home game in September. Donning jerseys of gold, the student-athletes collected more than $1000 from spectators — and won their match against Wesleyan.
All proceeds from the fundraiser went to Brooklyn Weyls, an 8-year-old currently battling Philadelphia-Positive Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. After years of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant, Brooklyn sadly relapsed in June 2021 and is currently awaiting a humanized CAR T-Cell therapy clinical trial at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The money will be used to cover the family’s travel and lodging expenses during her treatment.
Brooklyn is the daughter of a close friend of Anania Wesley, the head coach for the women’s soccer team at Oglethorpe, who also has a personal connection to childhood cancer.
“I shared with the team that I am a survivor of pediatric cancer, and that we had an opportunity to help one of my closest friend’s family in a time of need,” says Wesley.
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is recognized every September by childhood cancer organizations around the world. With a goal to increase awareness and raise funds for those affected by childhood cancer, the American Childhood Cancer Organization encourages everyone to “Go Gold” during September in honor and in memory of kids with cancer.
At the game, the women’s soccer team auctioned off their gold jerseys and collected donations from fans. With bids starting at $15, the team quickly amassed an impressive $1005 in donations. The team put in tremendous effort during the week to organize the fundraiser while staying on top of their schoolwork and practicing for the upcoming game. With a 3-0 victory over Wesleyan and plenty of money raised for Brooklyn’s family, the team was happy to call their fundraiser a success.
During the game, Coach Wesley shared with the team that he had received a message from Brooklyn’s father as they traveled to Philadelphia for treatment. Watching the game from the road, he passed along his sincere gratitude to the team and expressed his love of the “gold kits” the team sported on the field.
The Oglethorpe University Women’s Soccer team is looking forward to doing more fundraisers in the future and making a difference in the lives of others.