LAFC, Kaiser Permanente and the Austen Everett Foundation (AEF) are teaming up throughout the month of September in support of Major League Soccer’s (MLS) 8th annual Kick Childhood Cancer (KCC) campaign, to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer research and treatment.
Funds raised from LAFC’s Kick Childhood Cancer initiatives will benefit AEF, which works to empower kids in their fight against cancer through the strength and support of sports teams across the country.
LAFC began the month by hosting a virtual visit with local childhood cancer warriors who were given the opportunity to speak with LAFC goalkeeper Tomas Romero. The warriors that participated in the visitation were each gifted a custom gown made from an authentic LAFC jersey.
On Sunday, Sept. 12, LAFC will host its Kick Childhood Cancer match. Before the match, the club’s first team will honor youth cancer warriors by wearing their name on the back of special KCC Pre-Match Adidas tops. Following the match, each warrior will receive the personalized, signed pre-match top.
Prior to kickoff, AEF Hero John Martinez of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., will take part in the match’s pregame festivities as the honorary falconer. Martinez, a childhood cancer survivor, was diagnosed with leukemia at age 13. John channeled his natural grit and determination and his desire to return to sporting competition as motivation during his three-and-a-half year long treatment. At 17-years-old John continues to inspire others with his positive outlook on life.
Special KCC shirts, designed by AEF Heroes and siblings Kalea (9) and Noah (7) Avery of Torrance, Calif. – who were both diagnosed in 2018 with brain cancer less than two weeks apart - will be sold in-stadium starting on September 12, while supplies last, with a portion of the sales from the KCC T-shirt will be donated directly to the Austin Everett Foundation.
To bring greater awareness to the significance of the match, all LAFC jerseys worn on the field that night will bear a gold childhood cancer awareness ribbon, and the field will be dressed with gold nets and corner flags for the game and the match will be played with a commemorative KCC MLS adidas Nativo 21 Official Match Ball.
Also new for this year’s campaign, as part of the league-wide initiative, MLS Clubs created custom pajama bottoms to be distributed to local patients as a token of comfort while they continue their journey in the fight against cancer. LAFC’s custom pants will be shared with local patients through AEF.
Fans are encouraged to support MLS Works’ league-wide campaign using #KickChildhoodCancer during the month of September. For every post that uses the hashtag, MLS partner Continental Tire will donate $1 (up to $50,000) to Children’s Oncology Group (COG) Foundation, the world’s largest organization devoted exclusively to childhood and adolescent cancer research, uniting more than 10,000 experts in childhood cancer in more than 200 leading children’s hospitals around the world.
For more information about MLS Kick Childhood Cancer initiatives, visit: https://www.mlssoccer.com/mlsworks.