This September, MLS WORKS, launched its 5th annual Kick Childhood Cancer campaign in recognition of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
On September 9th, in partnership with Gift of Life Bone Marrow Registry, the LA Galaxy Foundation co-hosted a Kick Blood Cancer event at The Americana in Glendale. Attendees swabbed their cheeks in hopes of matching with someone battling blood cancer. Members from Gift of Life also collected swabs at the LA Galaxy home match on September 23rd, but had bigger aspirations for showcasing the life-changing results of a simple swab.
Last year, then 10 year-old Seth Akins was diagnosed with Idiopathic Aplastic Anemia, a disease that causes bone marrow to stop making new blood cells. In need of a bone marrow transplant, Seth and his family worked with Gift of Life, searching their extensive database for an exact match.
In 2015, Aaron Allen became a campus ambassador for Gift of Life and joined the registry soon after. Acknowledging the chances of being selected to donate were slim, Aaron patiently waited for the opportunity to help someone in need. That opportunity came when Gift of Life began the search for Akins bone marrow donor.
A year after his successful bone marrow transplant, Seth and his family were honored at the Galaxy match on Sunday September 23rd. Little did they know, Aaron was also in attendance and planned to surprise Seth in their first in person meeting. Their introduction was meet with a standing ovation from the LA Galaxy fans attending the night's match. To join the Gift of Life registry and get a free swab kit click here.
The LA Galaxy continued their support of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month by inviting former and current childhood cancer patients to attend an LA Galaxy practice to meet the team and attend a match.
On Friday, September 21st, the Galaxy hosted Sal Bellomo, from Moorpark, at their team training session. Sal accompanied Galaxy captain Ashley Cole as they walked together during the pregame of the Galaxy’s match on the 23rd.
In conjunction with the Austin Everett Foundation, an organization that empowers kids in their fight against cancer, Ethan Castro, an 8-year-old from Los Angeles who is battling Rhabdomyosarcoma, joined the LA Galaxy for practice on Thursday, September 27th. A huge Galaxy fan, Ethan met his favorite player, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who invited Ethan to walk alongside him during warmups of the Galaxy match on the 29th.
LA Galaxy players and coaches wore limited edition “Kick Childhood Cancer” scarves and t-shirts during pre-game activities for their September matches, which were later autographed and auctioned off, with the proceeds benefitting the LA Galaxy Foundation’s efforts to support Childhood Cancer Awareness.
The LA Galaxy are proud to work alongside MLS Works and show their support for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.