Matt Lampson has twice been named the MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year, but that isn’t why he started the LampStrong Foundation in 2013. It’s not for the validation or headlines.
“I’ve been called a humanitarian twice by the MLS. If that makes me a humanitarian, that’s great,” Lampson told LAGalaxy.com. “Philanthropist? I think I could probably spell it if I had a few chances. It doesn’t really change what I’m going to do or anything like that.
“A lot of people call me an ahole. So I guess I’m a philanthropic ahole.”
It’s an eclectic remark from the LA Galaxy goalkeeper, who’s now in his eighth MLS season after previous stops at the Columbus Crew, Chicago Fire and Minnesota United. Lampson is a cancer survivor, too, as he was diagnosed with Stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at age 17, only to emerge cancer-free in September 2007.
He went on to graduate from Ohio State before signing a Homegrown contract with the Crew. Since then Lampson has made 61 appearances across the regular season and playoffs, though has arguably made an even greater impact with the LampStrong Foundation.
They’ll host players at MLS games and provide financial, emotional and motivational support to cancer patients and families. Lampson will also visit hospitals and do community events, leading to longstanding relationships with some of the families. That means seeing some kids defeat cancer and others lose their fight.
“It gets emotional after the fact because I’ve had quite a few heroes who are no longer alive,” Lampson said. “To meet and engage and sometimes continue a relationship with a lot of the people I’ve met and then eventually they lose the battle, that’s when it gets emotional.”
The full interview showcases Lampson’s sense of humor, as he explains his love for donuts and connects his life's passions with loving Shark Week on the Discovery Channel.
“Things that interest you or that you’re passionate about are something that should be part of you every single day,” Lampson said. “So every month is Childhood Cancer Awareness month to me – and Shark Week."
His teammate, none other than Zlatan Ibrahimovic, has also taken notice.
You can check out the whole video above and more at LAGalaxy.com