H/T Rhodes Athletics
ATLANTA (Jan. 24, 2018) – The Rhodes College baseball team had a new visitor to campus Sunday morning. The Lynx welcomed Aiden Taylor, a Friends of Jaclyn (FOJ) participant to Stauffer Field in a special adoption ceremony. The mission at FOJ is to improve the quality of life for children and their families battling pediatric brain tumors and other childhood cancers and to spread awareness. They do this by pairing the afflicted child and their siblings with local high school and college sports teams, campus clubs, and arts programs in their community.
Aiden, a 12-year-old battling medulloblastoma, signed a letter of intent to be a Lynx, handed out "Aiden's Avengers" bracelets to the team, threw out the first pitch, and even got in some batting practice later in the afternoon. After the adoption formalities, and television interview (see below), Aiden chatted for hours with his new teammates. His parents, Josh and Lisa, and brother, Braxton, attended the adoption ceremony with him. "Friends of Jaclyn has given Aiden the opportunity to come to Rhodes after treatment and escape the hospital life for a minute," said Lisa Taylor.
"The collaboration with Aiden, his family, and Friends of Jaclyn really gives our team perspective and helps them understand that life is more than one exam or one baseball game," said Jeff Cleanthes, head baseball coach and director of athletics at Rhodes. "This will give Aiden 42 more best buds to help motivate him in his extremely tough situation."
"This is a big opportunity for us to share Aiden's story and what it means for him," commented Rhodes sophomore center fielder Paul Giacomazzi.
Aiden's History - Aiden was diagnosed with metastatic medulloblastoma on Jan. 28, 2014. After going into remission, it was discovered at the beginning of January that his cancer has returned. Aiden will be receiving treatment at St. Jude's here in Memphis. The Taylor family is waiting to hear from the FDA on approval for a new trial, but in the meantime, Aiden and his family are welcome back to Rhodes to pass the time and create new memories with the baseball team.
About Friends of Jaclyn - The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation was started when Jaclyn Murphy was diagnosed with a medulloblastoma, a malignant brain tumor. Her wish was to help every sick child find a team to show them love, support, and friendship.
For more information on FOJ, check out their website.