Bridgeport, Conn.-Sunday April 14, 2019 was as a special day on the campus of the University of Bridgeport as along with the sunny weather, Knights Field and the Purple Knights hosted the Third Annual Women's Soccer Going Gold for Pediatric Cancer Jamboree.
Programs from Bryant University, Stony Brook, Fairfield University, the University of New Haven, and the University of Bridgeport all joined together for a day of competitive college soccer, with a collective goal to raise awareness for pediatric cancer. It was a hugely successful event, all participating programs contributed in a fundraising effort, with all the money raised being donated to a non-profit organization, For Kids' Sake Foundation.
The event was started in support of a special young girl named Malia Dakota Jusczyk. In 2011 Malia was diagnosed with a very aggressive childhood cancer known as stage IV neuroblastoma. To survive, Malia's body had to endure six rounds of chemo, nine hours of tumor resection surgery, a stem cell transplant, removal of a kidney and an adrenal gland, twelve rounds of proton radiation, countless blood transfusions, and immunotherapy. Like all children diagnosed with this awful disease, Malia has shown an unbelievable strength and willpower throughout her treatment. "The fact that we get to play some good soccer on top of helping Malia and her family to raise some money for the Kids' Sake Foundation is just a wonderful opportunity, a way to combine college soccer and community service at the same time" said Andy Biggs, head coach of Bryant University women's soccer program. Although these programs may compete against each other on the field, they displayed tremendous camaraderie in the fight to help defeat pediatric cancer.