Football Rams Add a Special Member to Program
Aug. 1, 2011
Bronx, N.Y. -
It's not unusual for a college football team to make additions to its roster before summer camp starts. Teams are always looking for that one person who can make a difference for the season. But it is unusual when that person is all of three-and-a-half-years-old, and his difference to the team can be measured in smiles and perspective as opposed to touchdowns and tackles.
The newest addition to the Fordham football program is Ty Campbell, who was "adopted" by the Rams through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation on Friday. Ty is an extremely courageous and lovable boy who is undergoing treatment for a very rare and aggressive cancer called Chordoma.
Ty Campbell, and his parents Cindy and Lou, stopped by the Fordham football locker room on Friday where they met head coach Tom Masella and members of the team. On behalf of the team, Masella presented Ty with Fordham gifts, including a football signed by former Ram and current Arizona Cardinal quarterback John Skelton and a Fordham hat and jersey. Despite having undergone radiation treatments at Sloan Kettering earlier Friday morning, Ty beamed when he was handed the Fordham hat which he immediately donned to rousing applause from the team.
Ty also gave back to the team, presenting the members with special "Super Ty" black wristbands so that the Rams can display their support to him. But more than the wristbands, Ty lit up the room with his smile and his toughness, as his mother told him how "the football players beat up the other teams just like you beat up cancer."
"Ty is a very special boy who is one of the toughest and bravest kids I have ever met," said Masella. "What he and his family have been going through is impossible to imagine. We just hope that by making him part of our team we can take his and his family's mind off of the medical issues for awhile."
Ty Louis Campbell was born on October 4, 2007, the first child for Cindy and Lou. But on August 11, 2010, their lives changed forever. A mass was found at the base of his skull and Ty was later diagnosed with an extra renal rhabdoid tumor; a very rare and aggressive cancer. He has been undergoing treatment for the cancer ever since, having just finished a round of radiation therapy, hopefully his last, on Friday morning before visiting the Rams.
Cindy Campbell has a blog, Super Ty Blog, that shares the Campbell's experiences and posts updates on Ty's progress. It also provides links to Ty's Facebook page and foundations that support kids with cancer.
The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, a 501(c)(3), non-profit, charitable organization that improves the quality of life for children suffering with pediatric brain tumors and their families. FOJ is all about love, support, and friendship. FOJ matches a child with a college or high school sports team based on geographic location. Once the team and child have been matched, there is a ceremonial adoption. The child is surrounded by 20 or 30 new friends that rally around him or her. A deep bond is formed between the child, the child's family and the sports team. The relationship is a priceless gift. The gift is in the relationship; a child is gaining a loving support network and the team is gaining an insight into the value of life and the power of love. The result of this connection is mutual respect, support, friendship and love.
Ty is the second child to be adopted by a Fordham team through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, joining Meaghan Tully, who was adopted by the Fordham Cheerleading squad in 2009.
Ty's story was also featured is an article on Southeast.patch.com ('Little Fighter' Beats Odds, So Far).