- Five years ago, in April of 2010, the Temple lacrosse team adopted its second "sister" through the Friends of Jaclyn (FOJ) Foundation. When Lily Adkins first met the team, she was a shy four-year-old and only three years removed from the discovery and treatment of an ependymoma brain tumor when she was 14 months old.
These days, Lily is an active nine-year old who has been cancer-free for close to eight years. Lily and her parents, Temple alums Trish and Mike, along with younger sister Chloe and younger brother Nicholas, attend the Owls' games when they can. Temple will celebrate Lily and honor the FOJ Foundation
this Saturday, April 11, as the Owls host Marquette at noon.
The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, formed in 2005, is a non-profit, charitable organization that improves the quality of life for children with pediatric brain tumors and their families. FOJ matches a child in need of love, support and friendship with a college or high school sports team based on geographic basis. Through a due diligence process, the foundation screens for the best match based on the child and family's needs and the team, coach and athletic director's commitment to the foundation's goals.
After the adoption is completed, the child becomes an extension of the team where a unique bond is formed between the team members, the child and the family. The benefit to all is a personal loving support network that creates a unique bond. The result of the FOJ adoption is the child feels involved and each individual team member gains insight into the value of helping others. Additionally, FOJ has seen this relationship forges a closer bond among team members magnifying the importance of a team operating as a single unit.
Through the adoption relationship, the child is involved in the team through text messaging, emails, phone calls, facebook and twitter postings. Through the wide reaching press coverage, FOJ has helped improve the awareness of pediatric brain tumors. Close to 400 high school and collegiate teams across the country have made an adoption through FOJ, and the organization continues to grow.
Lily and her family will host her 7th Annual Lemonade Stand for Alex's Lemondade Stand Foundation in June. The Adkins family remains committed to raising money annually for childhood cancer research. To donate to Lily's Lemonade Stand, click HERE
Trish Adkins recently gave a speech to corporate sponsors of Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, and blogged about the experience with a full transcript of her moving speech. That post can be found here:http://www.triciaadkins.com/2015/03/black-coffee-and-lemonade.html
This is an excerpt from Trish's speech about nine-year old Lily.
"Lily just celebrated her 9th birthday on Friday. She is hope, realized.
Lily has been cancer-free since August 2007, when her treatment ended. In those 8 years, Lily has had countless hours of PT, OT, yoga, therapeutic horseback riding, tutoring, learning assessments, follow up scans and evaluations. Lily did not walk on her own until she was nearly 4 years old—when she finally took off—it was in the handbag department at Nordstrom. Some of the side effects of her brain tumor and treatment will always be there—issues with short term memory, handwriting and fine motor skills, coordination and concentration. But, none of that is insurmountable when you have a cup of lemonade in your hand.
Today, Lily is a dancer—ballet and hip hop. An aspiring field hockey player, a singer, a Girl Scout, a pianist, a third grader. She wants to be an artist when she grows up. I think she is already the most beautiful piece of art on the planet."