Team Connected With Brothers Through FOJ
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The Yale men's lacrosse team, through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation (FOJ), has adopted brothers from Ridgefield, Conn., eight-year-old Sterling and 11-year-old Hunter Bachman. Six years ago Sterling was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which caused blindness, seizure disorder and NF1. The Bachman Family and the Bulldogs were connected through this national organization.
The 38-man lacrosse team, preparing for the 2010 season and its Feb. 27 opener against Holy Cross, will communicate with the Bachman brothers through email and on the phone.
Sterling and Hunter, both excellent pianists, might be learning to play some Yale fight songs while they attend selected practices and games this spring. When the Bachman family met the lacrosse team on Jan. 30 at Timothy Dwight College, the two youngsters entertained the Bulldogs, each playing the piano while Sterling also sang. Later, Hunter got out his tech decks and showed some fancy moves, while some of the Bulldogs got their skateboards and rolled around with him outside.
"We are excited to welcome Sterling and Hunter into the Yale lacrosse family. We thank Denis Murphy (founder of FOJ) for the opportunity to work with such a wonderful foundation and a special family," said Yale assistant coach Ryan Polley. "We will be sending emails, text messages and making phone calls on a regular basis to both of them. The courage of these brothers has already had an impact on the team and will serve as an inspiration for years to come."
FOJ is a 501(c)(3), non-profit, charitable organization that improves the quality of life for children (and families) with pediatric brain tumors. FOJ, which is all about love, support, and friendship, matches a child with a college or high school sports team based on geographic location.
Sterling has been on four different protocols of chemotherapy and had over 25 MRIs. He takes it all in stride, cheerfully and without complaints. He is a true champ and will bring the same spirit to the Yale lacrosse team as its most enthusiastic fan.
"Everyone on our team is really excited about adopting Sterling and Hunter. Our initial meeting was fun for all of us and was full of laughter and smiles. The boys are incredibly talented musicians and they amazed everybody when they played," said Yale senior Matt Fuchs. "The boys' outgoing attitude and true zest for life are going to make this experience extremely valuable for our team and for the boys. We are looking forward to spending more time with them in the coming weeks."
Although Hunter is in excellent health, he has had to live in the constant concern for his brother's condition, visits to the hospital, 911 calls and parents who spend a great deal of their time coordinating Sterling's medical needs. He is thrilled to be adopted by the team and has been wearing the Yale lacrosse t-shirts faithfully since last weekend.
"Our introduction to the Yale lacrosse team has given our entire family a tremendous boost. We are really excited about going to the games and cheering on this magnificent group of young men," said Cindy Bachman, the mother of the boys.