Vancouver Whitecaps FC players held a virtual visit on Friday with oncology patients from BC Children’s Hospital (BCCH) as a part of the Kick Childhood Cancer campaign presented by Continental Tire.
Jake Nerwinski, Andy Rose, Tosaint Ricketts, Russell Teibert, Lucas Cavallini, Fredy Montero, Ali Adnan and Maxime Crepeau called in from Portland, their current home base for the club's remaining matches of the 2020 MLS regular season.
Club ambassador and alumnus Carl Valentine hosted the call, and presented the patients with Wave jerseys and Kick Childhood Cancer care kits, which contained gifts such as a soccer ball, puzzles, activities and more. Jerseys were also gifted to the hospital's 92 oncology frontline staff members.
Finally, Ricketts concluded the call with a message of inspiration for the children.
"We're always happy to partner with BC Children's Hospital," said Whitecaps FC defender and BCCH supporter Jake Nerwinski. "Our team usually visits the hospital around this time each year, and though we can't be there in person today, we'd glad to stay connected with the patients and staff.”
“Seeing the players through visits like this helps personalize who the players are – learning about them, their journeys to where they are today, obstacles or hurdles they’ve faced, who they lean on, and what they like to do off the field as well,” said Heather Denton, CCLS Child Life Specialist at BCCH and BC Women’s Health Centre.
“Although we couldn’t facilitate a visit in person for Kick Childhood Cancer month this year, in some ways meeting up online provided more opportunities for some of our patients to participate – as it meant patients on isolation or in transplant/post-transplant could still see the players, ask questions, and hear about their experiences. It's also exciting for the staff to have a shared experience with their patients as it creates a common connection. We’re grateful for the opportunity to get to spend some time with the players and we’ll be wearing our jerseys on game days, cheering the whole club on.”
As part of the seventh annual Kick Childhood Cancer Awareness month this September, MLS WORKS and Continental Tire teamed up with the league's clubs to raise awareness and funds in the battle against childhood cancer.
Click here for information about the MLS WORKS Kick Childhood Cancer campaign presented by Continental Tire.