WASHINGTON, D.C. - D.C. United is set to participate in Blood Cancer Awareness Month during its September 17, 2005 game against the Colorado Rapids at 7:30 p.m. at RFK Stadium. D.C. United is a long-time partner with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and its Soccer Kicks for Cancer® program. In addition to recognizing the Society this weekend, D.C. United will also honor the Soccer Kicks for Cancer® 2006 Honored Patients, Katherine Michael and Joel Wagner, before the game starts. These children are just two of more than 1,000 blood cancer patients in the DC Metropolitan Area.
"This partnership is a natural fit for the two organizations," said Catherine Marquette, D.C. United Director of Community Relations. "Leukemia has quietly become prevalent within a youth community that is so involved in soccer. It is our calling to direct public attention to this disease and those affected by it, with hopes that we can make a difference."
Leukemia is the number one cause of cancer death among children and young adults under the age of 20. Both of the Society's Honored Patients were diagnosed with the disease. Katherine Michael, 8, was diagnosed with B cell acute lymphocytic leukemia last July. Joel Wagner, 13, was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia in 1995. Both patients are huge fans of soccer and have been playing the game since they were three years of age. Since September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month and Youth Soccer Month, D.C. United is honoring both causes during the same game.
Through the years, United has developed heavy ties with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Christian Gomez and Josh Gros currently serve as chapter spokespersons for the Soccer Kicks for Cancer® initiative. Former great John Harkes, United Technical Director Dave Kasper and Ben Olsen also have long-standing personal ties with the organization.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the fastest-growing voluntary health organization in the United Stated. The Society's mission is to cure blood cancer and improve the live quality of life for patients and their families. The Society's Soccer Kicks for Cancer program connects youth soccer players to local blood cancer patients. Katherine Michael's team raised over $5,000 in her honor. To learn more about the Society and Soccer Kicks for Cancer, please visit www.tlls.org.
For more information on D.C. United's community initiatives, please visit www.dcunited.com or call Catherine Marquette at 202-587-5443.