Prior to the Earthquakes match in Portland on Wednesday night in the U.S. Open Cup, star forward Landon Donovan took some time to hang out with a very special person, Leukemia survivor Katie, a fourth grader from Portland.
Donovan signed autographs for Katie and spent time taking pictures with her and talking soccer. The meet and greet with Katie was set up by the Portland chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).
Donovan is a spokesperson for the Pennies for Patients program of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and he signed a number of Pennies for Patients posters that will be used as prizes for schools in LLS' campaign next year.
Since 1994, millions of dollars have been raised in pennies and other spare change by more than 10 million elementary, middle and high school students throughout the country in the Pennies for Patients program. The funds, collected during a three-week period, benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Earlier this year, the Earthquakes helped raise over $10,000 working with local schools on the program.
The Earthquakes have been very involved in supporting the LLS not just through the Pennies for Patients program, but also through the LLS' Light the Night Walk and the Man and Woman of the Year campaigns. Members of the team have participated in the Light the Night Walk for the past three years and defender Todd Dunivant recently raised $20,000 in the Man of the Year campaign in honor of his brother Luke, a leukemia survivor, who was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2001.